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Accession IconSRP069872

Uncoupling X chromosome number from sex determination separates contribution of sex and X dose to sex-biased gene expression in C. elegans

Organism Icon Caenorhabditis elegans
Sample Icon 15 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge IconIllumina HiSeq 2000

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The difference in X chromosome copy number creates a potential difference in X chromosomal gene expression between males and females. In many animals, dosage compensation mechanisms equalize X chromosome expression between sexes. Yet, X chromosome is also enriched for sex-biased genes due to differences in the evolutionary history of the X and autosomes. The manner in which dosage compensation and sex-biased gene expression exist on the X chromosome remains an open question. Most studies compare gene expression between two sexes, which combines expression differences due to X chromosome number (dose) and sex. Here, we uncoupled the effects of sex and X dose in C. elegans and determined how each process affects expression of the X chromosome compared to autosomes. We found that in the soma, sex-biased expression on the X chromosome is almost entirely due to sex because the dosage compensation complex (DCC) effectively compensates for the X dose difference between sexes. In the germline where the DCC is not present, X chromosome copy number contributes to hermaphrodite-biased gene expression. These results suggest that X dose contributes to sex-biased gene expression based on the level of dosage compensation in different tissues and developmental stages. Overall design: RNA-Seq profiles of C. elegans XO hermaphrodite and XX male L3 larvae and adults
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