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Genome. 2000 Apr;43(2):285-92.

Varied expression of a Y-linked P[w+] insert due to imprinting in Drosophila melanogaster.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Bowling Green State University, OH 43403, USA.


During gametogenesis, a gene can become imprinted affecting its expression in progeny. We have used the expression of a Y-linked P[w+]YAL transposable DNA element as a reporter system to investigate the effect of parental origination on the expression of the w+ insert. Expression of w+ was greater in male progeny when the Y chromosome, harboring the insert, was inherited from the parental male rather than from the parental female. Imprinting was not due to a genetic background influence in the males, since the only difference among the males was the parental origin of the Y chromosome. It was also observed that the genetic background can affect imprinting, since w+ expression was also higher in males when the Y was derived from C(1)DX attached-X parental females rather than from C(1)RM attached-X parental females. Though the heterochromatic imprinting mechanism is unknown, a mutated Heterochromatin Protein 1 (HP1) gene, which is associated with suppression of position-effect variegation, increases expression of the w+ locus in the P[w+]YAL insert, indicating that HP1 may play a role in Y chromosome packaging.

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