Faculty Research 1990 - 1999


Sex reversing non-disjunction of the Y chromosome produces exceptionally low sex ratio (% males) and hermaphrodites in the progeny of male BALB/cBm mice: the roles of the maternal genotype and the Y chromosome.

Document Type


Publication Date



Female, Genotype, Hermaphroditism: ge, Male, Mice, Mice-Inbred-BALB-C, Mice-Inbred-C57BL, Nondisjunction-Genetic, Sex-Differentiation, Sex-Ratio, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S, Y-Chromosome

First Page


Last Page


JAX Source

Reprod Fertil Dev 1991; 3(3):255-65.


AM17947, HD04083, GM20919


When females of 21 strains and hybrids were mated to BALB/cBm males to determine the role of the maternal genome in the sex reversing non-disjunction of the Y chromosome, (1) BALB/cBm and BALB/cBy and SJL/J females produced 39.5-41.5% males and 2.4-2.8% hermaphrodites; (2) SWR/J, A/HeJ, DBA/2J and C3HeB/FeJ produced 44.8-49.1% males and 0.2-0.7% hermaphrodites; (3) C3H/HeJ and three strains of C57BL produced normal sex ratios and no hermaphrodites; (4) four F1 hybrids produced 44.5-49.2% males and 0.3-1.9% hermaphrodites; (5) the seven CXB RI strains produced perplexing sets of data: 26.5%-52.0% males and 0.2-3.2% hermaphrodites. These results indicate that a partly dominant gene favouring non-disjunction occurs in the female genomes of BALB/c and SJL/J strains, an enhancing gene occurs in C57BL/6By and there may be others. Heterosis appears to favour normal mitosis. CXBH females produced 26.5% males and 3.2% hermaphrodites, indicating that non-disjunction may have occurred in every male zygote, thus providing models for the generation of Turner's syndrome, hermaphroditism and a predictable non-disjunction. Reciprocal crosses were made between SJL/J and BALB/cBm, followed by 20 backcrosses to the maternal strains, to exchange the Ys and produce two new consomic strains. Males from SJL-BALB/cBm-Y strain, when mated to CXBH females, sired 34.3% males and 4.3% hermaphrodites, whereas BALB/cBm-SJL-Y sired no hermaphrodites and the sex ratio ofthe offspring was normal. This shows that the non-disjunction involves only the BALB/cBm Y chromosome and is completely independent of genes on the X or autosomal chromosomes. These results indicate that the BALB/cBm Y chromosome is unable to interact normally with the mitotic spindles of some genotypes, particularly CXBH, BALB/c and SJL. The simplest hypothesis is that a primary non-disjunction occurs at first cleavage. This can produce an array of mosaics determined by chance in the many sampling events that take place during development and by the relative vigour and stability of the two original clones.