Scientific article

The bithorax complex of Drosophila melanogaster: Underreplication and morphology in polytene chromosomes

Publication date2001

The level of polyteny of the Drosophila salivary gland chromosomes was determined throughout the chromosome region 89E1-4, the locus of the Bithorax Complex. A zone of underreplication spans the 300 kb of DNA from the Ubx to Abd-B loci. From the centromere proximal end of the complex, a 70-kb-long gradual decrease of polytenization starts with the Ubx transcription unit and, after a floor corresponding to the abd-A locus, raises gradually back to the maximum over 70 kb in the region of the Abd-B transcription unit. In flies carrying the mutation Suppressor of DNA Underreplication [Su(UR)ES], the underreplication of the Bithorax Complex is fully suppressed. In the wild type, the Bithorax Complex forms a weak point featuring thinner bands separated by clefts or constrictions. In Su(UR)ES strain in contrast, the 89E1-4 band looks like a single solid band consisting of homogenous dense material. We speculate that the wild-type Su(UR)ES protein hampers DNA replication of silenced domains and leads to their underreplication in salivary gland polytene chromosomes.

  • Animals
  • Chromosomes/genetics/ultrastructure
  • DNA Replication
  • DNA-Binding Proteins/genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Drosophila melanogaster/genetics/growth & development/ultrastructure
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Silencing
  • Genes, Homeobox
  • Genes, Insect
  • Genes, Suppressor
  • Heterochromatin/genetics/ultrastructure
  • Homeodomain Proteins/genetics
  • Insect Proteins/genetics/physiology
  • Larva
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Salivary Glands/ultrastructure
  • Transcription Factors
Citation (ISO format)
MOSHKIN, Yuri M. et al. The bithorax complex of Drosophila melanogaster: Underreplication and morphology in polytene chromosomes. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2001, vol. 98, n° 2, p. 570–574. doi: 10.1073/pnas.021353598
Main files (1)
Article (Accepted version)
ISSN of the journal0027-8424

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