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Mol Biol Evol. 2012 Jan;29(1):7-11. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msr173. Epub 2011 Jun 28.

The 1.688 repetitive DNA of Drosophila: concerted evolution at different genomic scales and association with genes.


Concerted evolution leading to homogenization of tandemly repeated DNA arrays is widespread and important for genome evolution. We investigated the range and nature of the process at chromosomal and array levels using the 1.688 tandem repeats of Drosophila melanogaster where large arrays are present in the heterochromatin of chromosomes 2, 3, and X, and short arrays are found in the euchromatin of the same chromosomes. Analysis of 326 euchromatic and heterochromatic repeats from 52 arrays showed that the homogenization of 1.688 repeats occurred differentially for distinct genomic regions, from euchromatin to heterochromatin and from local arrays to chromosomes. We further found that most euchromatic arrays are either close to, or are within introns of, genes. The short size of euchromatic arrays (one to five repeats) could be selectively constrained by their role as gene regulators, a situation similar to the so-called "tuning knobs."

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