So my major is in pharmacy but both my master and my (currently in progress) doctoral degree are both in theoretical chemistry. My thesis is about quantum chemistry and proteins, but it has a certain amount of phylogeny and evolutionary biology such that I've had to learn some phylogenic analysis methodology and have had my share of experience using sequence databases and analysis tools around the web. Although I do not focus particularly in the human genome, or even human proteins for that matter, I got myself thinking about a rather curious question.

I am by no means a specialist in molecular and evolutionary biology, but I do understand that chromosomes and genes come up in the population by several mechanisms. Now, it is interesting to me that all the information regarding biological sex in humans is contained within a single chromosomal switch, the Y chromosome. Given that fact, I asked myself

"Do we have some order in the arrangement of our genes in their chromosomes?"

So now I turn that question to you people, who seem to be more well-equipped to tackle theses questions than I certainly am. Forgive my ignorance and indulge my curiosity!


Okay, clarifying some points that were raised in the comments:

The question is about whether there is a pattern in the organization of genes into chromosomes. For example, the Y chromosome clearly contains a lot of genes associated with sexual dimorphism in humans. I was wondering if chromosomes in general follow that general pattern. If, for example, Chromosome 1 contains such and such kinds of genes, as if it had hints of an overarching "theme" to it.

Is that clearer?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.SE! From wiki: "In classical genetics, synteny describes the physical co-localization of genetic loci on the same chromosome within an individual or species" $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Dec 18 '14 at 5:14
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome! What exactly is your question? The title indicates that your question concerns (1) the organization in the ordering of the various chromosomes, the question in the body hints that (2) you are interested in the Y chromosome, while the quoted question asks about (3) gene placement/localization on chromosomes in general. It is unclear as of know what exactly you need to know. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Dec 18 '14 at 5:24
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    $\begingroup$ You should narrow down your question a bit.. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Dec 18 '14 at 5:30
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think this is too broad or unclear. It's a simple yes or no question: are genes arranged in a specific way? The answer happens to be yes for some and no for others. $\endgroup$ – canadianer Dec 18 '14 at 7:12
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    $\begingroup$ This can be narrowed down. The point that is a bit unclear is this: are you interested to know if the order is conserved — homologous syntenic blocks or if the order itself has a significance. If you clarify this then at least the first question is answerable. The second question can be answered at least with respect to E.Coli with some precision. For eukaryotes there are many factors to be considered. I haven't voted for closure yet because the question is interesting. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Dec 18 '14 at 8:09