Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup
Rediscovering Biology Logo
Online TextbookCase StudiesExpertsArchiveGlossarySearch
Online Textbook
Back to Unit Page
Unit Chapters
Proteins & Proteomics
Evolution & Phylogenetics
Microbial Diversity
Emerging Infectious Diseases
Genetics of Development
Cell Biology & Cancer
Human Evolution
Biology of Sex & Gender
Sex and the Y Chromosome
Paternal Inheritance
Evolution of the Y Chromosome
X Inactivation
Genetic Imprinting
Testis-Determining Factor
Ethics of Intersex Treatment
Sex and Disease
Genetically Modified Organisms
Paternal Inheritance

Figure 2. Paternal and maternal lineages
The lack of recombination means that the entire non-recombining portion of the Y is passed intact from father to son. A male shares the same Y chromosome with his father, paternal grandfather, paternal great-grandfather, and so on. (Fig. 2). Researchers can establish paternal genetic relationships by comparing small differences (polymorphisms) between modern Y chromosomes. The identification of genetic markers such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and indels (insertions and deletions) in the non-recombining regions of the Y provides a tool to study population structure and history, genealogy, and human evolution. Because these regions do not recombine they change very slowly, so they may be useful in identifying stable paternal lineages over thousands of years. Mutations occasionally occur in this DNA, however, which are then inherited down the paternal line.

Back Next


© Annenberg Foundation 2017. All rights reserved. Legal Policy