Till now, science has been telling us that the X or Y chromosome present in the male sperm, with a 50-50 presence, decide the sex of the child. The mother has no role at all in influencing the decision, all believed. There have been studies saying that the age of the mother, environmental factors, external factors like nutrition or the lack of it faced by the would-be-mother does affect the final outcome. But theses claims are yet to be accepted universally.
University of Sheffield scientists are now saying that the mother, in a substantial way might be influencing the sex determination of the future child. In tests done on pigs, they have seen that the fallopian tubes where the sperm fuses with the ovum, behaves in a certain way depending on the approaching X or Y chromosome carrying sperm.
Sheffield and Murcia University scientists have infused the female with either entirely X carrying sperm, or Y carrying sperm and noticed that oviduct gene expression varied in these different circumstances. This expression is a way the female is deciding to fuse with the sperm or not, deduced the scientists.
How or why this ability is developed is yet to be understood. Further clarity on the issue could pave way to determine the sex of the child beforehand, say scientists. The findings are published in BMC Genomics journal.