During the evolution of heteromorphic sex chromosomes, the sex-specific Y chromosome degenerates, while the X chromosome evolves new mechanisms of regulation. Using bioinformatic and experimental approaches, we investigate the expression of the X chromosome in Drosophila melanogaster
. We observe nearly complete X chromosome dosage compensation in male somatic tissues, but not in testis. The X chromosome contains disproportionately fewer genes with high expression in testis than the autosomes, even after accounting for the lack of dosage compensation, which suggests that another mechanism suppresses their expression in the male germline. This is consistent with studies of reporter genes and transposed genes, which find that the same gene has higher expression when autosomal than when X-linked. Using a new reporter gene that is expressed in both testis and somatic tissues, we find that the suppression of X-linked gene expression is limited to genes with high expression in testis and that the extent of the suppression is positively correlated with expression level.
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