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June 15, 2017 (Vol. 37, No. 12)

Tree of Sex

  • List of all related publications, access to raw data
  • Limited amount of additional content beyond the publications

What biological mechanisms determine the sex of an organism? The answer to this deceptively simple question is incredibly complex, varying not only among different taxonomic groups but also sometimes among individuals within a given species! To make sense of it all, a group of scientists that together comprise the Tree of Sex Consortium have created a database of the sexual systems and sex determination mechanisms across eukaryotes. The resulting database (or rather, databases—for vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants) can be accessed via the Tree of Sex website. The raw data can be downloaded as csv files, and those data are accompanied by (albeit low resolution) graphical depictions of the taxonomy of sex determination mechanisms. In addition, the website also includes a list of all Tree of Sex Consortium publications (including the major paper from 2014 in which the database was described) and information about each of the Consortium’s members.

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