Sex Chromosome Definition

The structure of genetic code that determines gender (male or female). The male sex chromosome has the appearance of the letter Y and the female sex chromosome has the appearance of the letter X. A combination of XY results in male and a combination of XX results in female. The Y chromosome contains fewer than 100 genes, while the X chromosome carries several hundred genes.

A number of genetic disorders are X-linked that is, they result from mutations that occur among genes the X chromosome carries. Hemophilia and some forms of muscular dystrophy (notably Duchenne’s and Becker’s) are X-linked genetic disorders.

See also AUTOSOMEGAMETEGENEMUTATIONSOMATIC CELL.

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