Homogametic

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This term refers to the sex of a species in which the sex chromosomes are identical. For example, in humans (and most other mammals), the female is the homogametic sex - females have two identical homologous chromosomes (XX), whereas males, the heterogametic sex, have two homologous chromosomes of different sizes with different genes (XY) [1].

In some species, such as birds, females are the heterogametic sex (ZW) and males the homogametic (ZZ) [2].

References

  1. Waters P.D. (2007) 'Mammalian sex--Origin and evolution of the Y chromosome and SRY' Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology 18(3):389-400 Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17400006 (Accessed 23/10/2012)
  2. Tower J. (2009) 'The genetics of gender and life span' Journal of Biology 8(4): 38 Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2688912/ (Accessed 23/10/2012)
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