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Genetics. 1991 Dec; 129(4): 1085–1098.
PMCID: PMC1204773

Chromosome Rearrangement by Ectopic Recombination in Drosophila Melanogaster: Genome Structure and Evolution


Ectopic recombination between interspersed repeat sequences generates chromosomal rearrangements that have a major impact on genome structure. A survey of ectopic recombination in the region flanking the white locus of Drosophila melanogaster identified 25 transposon-mediated rearrangements from four parallel experiments. Eighteen of the 25 were generated from females carrying X chromosomes heterozygous for interspersed repeat sequences. The cytogenetic and molecular analyses of the rearrangements and the parental chromosomes show: (1) interchromosomal and intrachromosomal recombinants are generated in about equal numbers; (2) ectopic recombination appears to be a meiotic process that is stimulated by the interchromosomal effect to about the same degree as regular crossing over; (3) copies of the retrotransposon roo were involved in all of the interchromosomal exchanges; some copies were involved much more frequently than others in the target region; (4) homozygosis for interspersed repeat sequences and other sequence variations significantly reduced ectopic recombination.

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Selected References

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