Vicoso Group

Sex-Chromosome Biology and Evolution

Sex chromosomes, such as the X and Y of mammals, are involved in sex-determination in many animal and plant species. Their sex specificity leads them to evolve differently from other chromosomes, and acquire distinctive biological properties. The Vicoso group investigates how sex chromosomes evolve over time, and what biological forces are driving their patterns of differentiation.

The Vicoso group is interested in understanding several aspects of the biology of sex chromosomes, and the evolutionary processes that shape their peculiar features. By combining the use of next-generation sequencing technologies with studies in several model and non-model organisms, they can address a variety of standing questions, such as: Why do some Y chromosomes degenerate while others remain homomorphic, and how does this relate to the extent of sexual dimorphism of the species? What forces drive some species to acquire global dosage compensation of the X, while others only compensate specific genes? What are the frequency and molecular dynamics of sex-chromosome turnover?

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Current Projects

Sex chromosome turnover and conservation | Dosage compensation in female-heterogametic species | Gene expression evolution in sexual and asexual species


Freitas S, Westram AM, Schwander T, Arakelyan M, Ilgaz Ç, Kumlutas Y, Harris DJ, Carretero MA, Butlin RK. 2022. Parthenogenesis in Darevskia lizards: A rare outcome of common hybridization, not a common outcome of rare hybridization. Evolution. View

Perini S, Butlin R, Westram AM, Johannesson K. 2022. Very short mountings are enough for sperm transfer in Littorina saxatilis. Journal of Molluscan Studies. 88(1), eyab049. View

Kelemen RK, Elkrewi MN, Lindholm AK, Vicoso B. 2022. Novel patterns of expression and recruitment of new genes on the t-haplotype, a mouse selfish chromosome. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 289(1968), 20211985. View

Huylmans AK, Macon A, Hontoria F, Vicoso B. 2021. Transitions to asexuality and evolution of gene expression in Artemia brine shrimp. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 288(1959), 20211720. View

Westram AM, Faria R, Johannesson K, Butlin R. 2021. Using replicate hybrid zones to understand the genomic basis of adaptive divergence. Molecular Ecology. 30(15), 3797–3814. View

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ReX-Link: Beatriz Vicoso


since 2015 Assistant Professor, Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA)
2009 – 2014 Postdoc, University of California, Berkeley, USA
2010 PhD, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Selected Distinctions

2017 Member of the Young Academy of the Austrian Academy of Sciences
2016 ERC Starting Grant
2016 FWF Standalone Grant
2011 DeLill Nasser Travel Award from the Genetics Society of America

Additional Information

Download CV
Open Vicoso lab website

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