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Equalizing the Expression of X Chromosome Genes in Males and Females Males have only one X chromosome and therefore only one copy of all genes on the X chromosome. Each gene is directly expressed, thus providing the basis of hemizygosity in males. Females have two X chromosomes, but one is always inactivated. Therefore, females, like males, have only one functional copy of all the genes on the X chromosome. Again, each gene must be directly expressed. Why, then, are females not considered hemizygous, and why are they not afflicted with sex-linked recessive diseases as often as males are?

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Human Heredity: Principles and Iss...

11th Edition
Michael Cummings
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305251052

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Human Heredity: Principles and Iss...

11th Edition
Michael Cummings
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305251052
Chapter 7, Problem 18QP
Textbook Problem
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Equalizing the Expression of X Chromosome Genes in Males and Females

Males have only one X chromosome and therefore only one copy of all genes on the X chromosome. Each gene is directly expressed, thus providing the basis of hemizygosity in males. Females have two X chromosomes, but one is always inactivated. Therefore, females, like males, have only one functional copy of all the genes on the X chromosome. Again, each gene must be directly expressed. Why, then, are females not considered hemizygous, and why are they not afflicted with sex-linked recessive diseases as often as males are?

Summary Introduction

To determine: The reason due to which females are not considered hemizygous, and are not afflicted with sex-linked recessive diseases as often as males.

Introduction: The sex chromosomes present in the males differ from the sex chromosomes present in the females. The amount of the gene product expressed by the genes present on the X chromosome is equalized in both males and females through a process known as dosage compensation.

Explanation of Solution

Inactivation of the X chromosomes is regulated by the X inactivation center. X chromosomes are randomly inactivated in females. A 32-celled embryo faces random inactivation of the X chromosomes in the females. Thus, because of the random inactivation, the genes are active as a whole in the body, from both the X chromosomes.

A hemizygous individual is an individual who carries only one type of a particular chromosome, and the homologous chromosome for it is different. Males are hemizygous because they carry XY chromosomes. Females have XX chromosomes and cannot be regarded as hemizygous...

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