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Chromosoma. 1977 Feb 3;59(3):259-72.

Replication of chromosomal DNA in diploid Drosophila melanogaster cells cultured in vitro.


Replication rate and replicon sizes in chromosomal DNA of in vitro cultured diploid D. melanogaster cells were determined using autoradiography of 3H-thymidine labeled DNA. Synthesis of DNA in euchromatic and heterochromatic regions of Drosophila diploid cells occurs at different periods of the S phase which last 10 h. During the first 4 h the synthesis is observed only in euchromatic regions. The heterochromatic synthesis starts shortly before the synthesis in euchromatic regions is completed and lasts for 6 h until the end of the S phase. The cells were synchronized by 5-fluorodeoxyuridine which blocked the diploid cell DNA synthesis. Synthesis was found to start simultaneously in most euchromatic replicons. In the majority of the replicons the synthesis started at a single point and proceeded bidirectionally. The average rate of DNA synthesis per fork was 12.5 mum/h (38kb). The mean distance between the middle points of adjacent labeled regions was 70 mgm (210 kb). The size of most replicons ranged from 40 to 120 mum. - These estimates do not apply to the heterochromatic portions of the D. melanogaster genome since the measurements have been carried out on DNA preparations obtained during the first 2 h of the S phase. - On the average, a replicon can consist of 7 chromomeres since the size of a replicon in diploid cell chromosomal DNA and DNA length of a polytene chromomere average 210 and 30 kb, respectively.

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