Effect of four doses of gene Su(UR)ES on intercalary heterochromatin in Drosophila melanogaster

I. F. Zhimulev, I. V. Makunin, E. I. Volkova, V. Pirrotta, E. S. Belyaeva

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Polytene chromosomes of salivary glands of various Drosophila melanogaster strains containing two doses of the normal Su(UR)ES allele have a constant set of intercalary heterochromatin (IHC) sites. Their DNA is underreplicated, which leads to breaks and ectopic contacts emerging at a certain rate. Almost no underreplication, breaks, or ectopic conjugation are present in mutants lacking the normal Su(UR)ES gene product. It could be expected that an increase in the number of the Sn(UR)ES+ gene doses would, in turn, drastically increase ectopic conjugation and breakage. To test this hypothesis, a strain of D. melanogaster was obtained with two additional doses of Su(UR)ES+ introduced into its genome. The flies with four gene doses exhibited a considerable increase in ectopic conjugation: both the proportion of regions participating in conjugation and the number of chromosomes with numerous contact nodes were increased. As a result, chromosomes that were straight and well-stretched in homozygotes for the mutation in Su(UR)ES became twisted and wound and contained many loops or nodes. Many chromosomes were wound too tightly for cytological analysis. Four doses of Su(UR)ES+ considerably increased the number of weak "points." For example, the 2R chromosome has only 3 weak points in strains with two doses of Su(UR)ES+ and as many as 22 weak points in the strain with four doses. In the transgenic strain, the frequency of breaks in previously known weak points increased and new breaks appeared in 19 additional sites. All new break points appeared in the regions that were earlier described as regions of late replication in the S phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)877-885
Number of pages9
JournalRussian Journal of Genetics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics


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