Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sex determining gene found in Birds

Australian scientists have discovered the gene that makes birds male.

The discovery of the sex determining gene in birds, published in a recent edition of ‘Nature’, could help scientists understand sex disorders in humans.

Geneticist and author Professor Andrew Sinclair, of the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and the University of Melbourne, says locating the gene, known as DMRT1, is an enormous breakthrough that has eluded scientists for more than a decade.

In 1990, Sinclair was involved in discovering the mammalian sex determining gene SRY. But the same mechanism in birds has not been well understood.

Like humans birds have two sex chromosomes, except males carry two Z chromosomes while females carry one Z and one W chromosome, says Sinclair.

Sinclair says DMRT1 is found on the Z chromosome. He says they long suspected that DMRT1 played a role in sex determination because of its similar function in other animals, including humans.

Read the story
Read the research paper

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It seems remarkable idea to me is