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One of the human sex chromosomes. Y chromosomes are only found in males who have one X and one Y.

Use in clinical context

Only males have a Y chromosome, which is always inherited from their father. There are very few genes on the Y chromosome, but a crucial gene involved in determining biological sex – SRY – is found on this chromosome and not the X chromosome. It is possible for individuals to only have a single X chromosome – these individuals are biologically female as they lack the Y chromosome and the SRY gene that determines biological maleness. It is not possible for individuals to only have a Y chromosome as the X chromosome is essential to life and development.

Related terms

Chromosome | Monosomy | X chromosome

Last updated on 31st May, 2019