Characterization and evolution of a single-copy sequence from the human Y chromosome

R. D. Burk, P. Ma, K. D. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


To study the evolution and organization of DNA from the human Y chromosome, we constructed a recombinant library of human Y DNA by using a somatic cell hybrid in which the only cytologically detectable human chromosome is the Y. One recombinant (4B2) contained a 3.3-kilobase EcoRI single-copy fragment which was localized to the proximal portion of the Y long arm. Sequences homologous to this human DNA are present in male gorilla, chimpanzee, and orangutan DNAs but not in female ape DNAs. Under stringent hybridization conditions, the homologous sequence is either a single-copy or a low-order repeat in humans and in the apes. With relaxed hybridization conditions, this human Y probe detected several homologous DNA fragments which are all derived from the Y in that they occur in male DNAs from humans and the apes but not in female DNAs. In contrast, this probe hybridized to highly repeated sequences in both male and female DNAs from old world monkeys. Thus, sequences homologous to this probe underwent a change in copy number and chromosomal distribution during primate evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)576-581
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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