Y chromosome functions in mammalian spermatogenesisMore about Open Access at the Crick
The mammalian Y chromosome is critical for male sex determination and spermatogenesis. However, linking each Y gene to specific aspects of male reproduction has been challenging. As the Y chromosome is notoriously hard to sequence and target, functional studies have mostly relied on transgene-rescue approaches using mouse models with large multi-gene deletions. These experimental limitations have oriented the field toward the search for a minimum set of Y genes necessary for male reproduction. Here, considering Y-chromosome evolutionary history and decades of discoveries, we review the current state of research on its function in spermatogenesis and reassess the view that many Y genes are disposable for male reproduction.