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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Nov 6;98(23):13225-30. Epub 2001 Oct 30.

Identification of five new genes on the Y chromosome of Drosophila melanogaster.

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Departamento de Genética, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Caixa Postal 68011 CEP 21944-970, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


The heterochromatic state of the Drosophila Y chromosome has made the cloning and identification of Y-linked genes a challenging process. Here, we report application of a procedure to identify Y-linked gene fragments from the unmapped residue of the whole genome sequencing effort. Previously identified Y-linked genes appear in sequenced scaffolds as individual exons, apparently because many introns have become heterochromatic, growing to enormous size and becoming virtually unclonable. A TBLASTN search using all known proteins as query sequences, tested against a blastable database of the unmapped fragments, produced a number of matches consistent with this scenario. Reverse transcription-PCR and genetic methods were used to confirm those that are expressed, Y-linked genes. The five genes reported here include three protein phosphatases (Pp1-Y1, Pp1-Y2, and PPr-Y), an occludin-related gene (ORY), and a coiled-coils gene (CCY). This brings the total to nine protein-coding genes identified on the Drosophila Y chromosome. ORY and CCY may correspond, respectively, to the fertility factors ks-1 and ks-2, whereas the three protein phosphatases represent novel genes. There remains a strong functional coherence to male function among the genes on the Drosophila Y chromosome.

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