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Rapid Evolution of Genes on the Human X-chromosome

  1. Erika M Kvikstad,
  2. Kateryna D Makova

Published Online: 30 APR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020858



How to Cite

Kvikstad, E. M. and Makova, K. D. 2008. Rapid Evolution of Genes on the Human X-chromosome. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 APR 2008

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (20 SEP 2013)


Owing to sex chromosome-specific modes of natural selection, genes on the human X-chromosome are evolving rapidly in comparison to genes located on autosomes. Biological factors additional to selection could contribute to these elevated rates, including evolutionary history and genomic features of the X-chromosome. Furthermore, genes on the X are distributed in a nonrandom fashion, potentially influencing their evolution. Finally, the function and expression of each X-linked gene may play a role in determining its evolutionary rate.


  • sex chromosomes;
  • positive selection;
  • sex-biased genes