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Faced with inequality: chicken do not have a general dosage compensation of sex-linked genes

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Biology, September 2007
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  • Average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source

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Faced with inequality: chicken do not have a general dosage compensation of sex-linked genes
Published in
BMC Biology, September 2007
DOI 10.1186/1741-7007-5-40
Pubmed ID

Hans Ellegren, Lina Hultin-Rosenberg, Björn Brunström, Lennart Dencker, Kim Kultima, Birger Scholz


The contrasting dose of sex chromosomes in males and females potentially introduces a large-scale imbalance in levels of gene expression between sexes, and between sex chromosomes and autosomes. In many organisms, dosage compensation has thus evolved to equalize sex-linked gene expression in males and females. In mammals this is achieved by X chromosome inactivation and in flies and worms by up- or down-regulation of X-linked expression, respectively. While otherwise widespread in systems with heteromorphic sex chromosomes, the case of dosage compensation in birds (males ZZ, females ZW) remains an unsolved enigma. Here, we use a microarray approach to show that male chicken embryos generally express higher levels of Z-linked genes than female birds, both in soma and in gonads. The distribution of male-to-female fold-change values for Z chromosome genes is wide and has a mean of 1.4-1.6, which is consistent with absence of dosage compensation and sex-specific feedback regulation of gene expression at individual loci. Intriguingly, without global dosage compensation, the female chicken has significantly lower expression levels of Z-linked compared to autosomal genes, which is not the case in male birds. The pronounced sex difference in gene expression is likely to contribute to sexual dimorphism among birds, and potentially has implication to avian sex determination. Importantly, this report, together with a recent study of sex-biased expression in somatic tissue of chicken, demonstrates the first example of an organism with a lack of global dosage compensation, providing an unexpected case of a viable system with large-scale imbalance in gene expression between sexes.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 103 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 2 2%
Sweden 2 2%
Brazil 1 <1%
Czechia 1 <1%
Switzerland 1 <1%
Unknown 96 93%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 26 25%
Student > Ph. D. Student 23 22%
Student > Master 13 13%
Student > Bachelor 11 11%
Professor > Associate Professor 6 6%
Other 15 15%
Unknown 9 9%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 69 67%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 16 16%
Neuroscience 3 3%
Environmental Science 1 <1%
Psychology 1 <1%
Other 3 3%
Unknown 10 10%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 3. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 12 March 2017.
All research outputs
of 9,183,818 outputs
Outputs from BMC Biology
of 972 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 246,694 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Biology
of 34 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 9,183,818 research outputs across all sources so far. This one has received more attention than most of these and is in the 59th percentile.
So far Altmetric has tracked 972 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 16.8. This one is in the 31st percentile – i.e., 31% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 246,694 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 67% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 34 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 41st percentile – i.e., 41% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.