Feb 1, 2002
Sex determination systems in plants have evolved many times from hermaphroditic ancestors (including monoecious plants with separate male and female flowers on the same individual), and sex chromosome systems have arisen several times in flowering plant evolution. Consistent with theoretical models for the evolutionary transition from hermaphroditism to monoecy, multiple sex determining genes are involved, including male-sterility and female-sterility factors. The requirement that recombination should be rare between these different loci is probably the chief reason for the genetic degeneration of Y chromosomes. Theories for Y chromosome degeneration are reviewed in the light of recent results from genes on plant sex chromosomes.