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Genetics. Aug 2004; 167(4): 1791–1799.
PMCID: PMC1471026

Extensive sex-specific nonadditivity of gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster.


Assessment of the degree to which gene expression is additive and heritable has important implications for understanding the maintenance of variation, adaptation, phenotypic divergence, and the mapping of genotype onto phenotype. We used whole-genome transcript profiling using Agilent long-oligonucleotide microarrays representing 12,017 genes to demonstrate that gene transcription is pervasively nonadditive in Drosophila melanogaster. Comparison of adults of two isogenic lines and their reciprocal F1 hybrids revealed 5820 genes as significantly different between at least two of the four genotypes in either males or females or across both sexes. Strikingly, while 25% of all genes differ between the two parents, 33% differ between both F1's and the parents, averaged across sexes. However, only 5% of genes show overdominance, suggesting that heterosis for expression is rare.

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Selected References

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