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Chromosome Res. 2008;16(2):307-24. doi: 10.1007/s10577-007-1195-1. Epub 2008 Feb 11.

Sequence analysis, chromosomal distribution and long-range organization show that rapid turnover of new and old pBuM satellite DNA repeats leads to different patterns of variation in seven species of the Drosophila buzzatii cluster.

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Departamento de Genética e Evolução, Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Via Washington Luís, Km 235, 13565-905, São Carlos, SP, Brazil.


We aimed to study patterns of variation and factors influencing the evolutionary dynamics of a satellite DNA, pBuM, in all seven Drosophila species from the buzzatii cluster (repleta group). We analyzed 117 alpha pBuM-1 (monomer length 190 bp) and 119 composite alpha/beta (370 bp) pBuM-2 repeats and determined the chromosome location and long-range organization on DNA fibers of major sequence variants. Such combined methodologies in the study of satDNAs have been used in very few organisms. In most species, concerted evolution is linked to high copy number of pBuM repeats. Species presenting low-abundance and scattered distributed pBuM repeats did not undergo concerted evolution and maintained part of the ancestral inter-repeat variability. The alpha and alpha/beta repeats colocalized in heterochromatic regions and were distributed on multiple chromosomes, with notable differences between species. High-resolution FISH revealed array sizes of a few kilobases to over 0.7 Mb and mutual arrangements of alpha and alpha/beta repeats along the same DNA fibers, but with considerable changes in the amount of each variant across species. From sequence, chromosomal and phylogenetic data, we could infer that homogenization and amplification events involved both new and ancestral pBuM variants. Altogether, the data on the structure and organization of the pBuM satDNA give insights into genome evolution including mechanisms that contribute to concerted evolution and diversification.

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