Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Y Chromosome DNA

Genes, pseudogenes, or junk DNA located specifically on the Y chromosome. Much of the long-arm Y chromosome DNA in mammals appears to be selfish DNA, which is not maintained by natural selection and is therefore ideal for comparing rates of molecular evolution among individuals and between species. Y chromosome DNA can be used to identify groups of related males, and is thus useful for tracing paternity along male lineages.

Cf. mitochondrial DNA.

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