What is Y chromosome?

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An international research team recently generated the first truly complete sequence of a human Y chromosome.

About Y chromosome:

  • The Y chromosome is one of the two sex chromosomes in humans (the other is the X chromosome).
  • The sex chromosomes form one of the 23 pairs of human chromosomes in each cell. 
  • The Y chromosome is very small. It likely contains 50 to 60 genes and represents 2% of a cell's total DNA.
  • Each person normally has one pair of sex chromosomes in each cell. 
  • The Y chromosome is present in males, who have one X and one Y chromosome, while females have two X chromosomes.
  • Genes in Y Chromosome:
    • Because only males have the Y chromosome, the genes on this chromosome tend to be involved in male sex determination and development. 
    • The Y chromosome is relatively small and contains fewer genes compared to the X chromosome.
    • This has led to its characterization as the "male-determining" chromosome, as its primary role is to initiate and control male development.
    • While the X chromosome contains genes related to various functions throughout the body, the Y chromosome focuses on male-specific traits.
    • SRY Gene:  The Y chromosome contains a critical gene called the Sex-Determining Region Y (SRY) gene. Sex is determined by the SRY gene, which is responsible for the development of a fetus into a male.
    • Other genes on the Y chromosome are important for enabling men to father biological children (male fertility).
  • Genetic Disorders:
    • Mutations or deletions of genes on the Y chromosome can lead to various genetic disorders and infertility in males.
    • For example, deletions in the AZF (Azoospermia Factor) region of the Y chromosome can cause male infertility by affecting sperm production.


Q1) What is a Chromosome?

A chromosome is a thread-like structure made of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and associated proteins found in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells. Chromosomes are essential components of living organisms, and they play a central role in the storage and transmission of genetic information from one generation to the next.

Source: Researchers assemble the first complete sequence of a human Y chromosome