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Genetics. Aug 1990; 125(4): 821–832.
PMCID: PMC1204108

Molecular and Cytogenetic Analysis of the Heterochromatin-Euchromatin Junction Region of the Drosophila Melanogaster X Chromosome Using Cloned DNA Sequences


We have used three cloned DNA sequences consisting of (1) part of the suppressor of forked transcription unit, (2) a cloned 359-bp satellite, and (3), a type I ribosomal insertion, to examine the structure of the base of the X chromosome of Drosophila melanogaster where different chromatin types are found in juxtaposition. A DNA probe from the suppressor of forked locus hybridizes exclusively to the very proximal polytenized part of division 20, which forms part of the β-heterochromatin of the chromocenter. The cloned 359-bp satellite sequence, which derives from the proximal mitotic heterochromatin between the centromere and the ribosomal genes, hybridizes to the under replicated α-heterochromatin of the chromocenter. The type I insertion sequence, which has major locations in the ribosomal genes and in the distal mitotic heterochromatin of the X chromosome, hybridizes as expected to the nucleolus but does not hybridize to the β-heterochromatic division 20 of the polytene X chromosome. Our molecular data reveal that the suppressor of forked locus, which on cytogenetic grounds is the most proximal ordinary gene on the X chromosome, is very close to the junction of the polytenized and non-polytenized region of the X chromosome. The data have implications for the structure of β-heterochromatin-α-heterochromatin junction zones in both mitotic and polytene chromosomes, and are discussed with reference to models of chromosome structure.

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Selected References

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