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Genome. 1989;31(2):561-71.

Y chromosomal fertility genes of Drosophila: a new type of eukaryotic genes.

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Department of Molecular and Developmental Genetics, Catholic University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


The Y chromosomal fertility genes of Drosophila are required for sperm differentiation. They are active only in primary spermatocytes where they form giant lampbrush loops. The molecular structure of these genes was investigated and revealed an unusual composition of DNA. Short, tandemly repeated sequence clusters are interrupted by longer and more heterogeneous sequences, which probably all represent transposable elements. No indication of the presence of protein-coding regions has been found within the fertility genes. However, the lampbrush loops bind site-specific proteins recognized by immunofluorescence techniques. This, together with other experimental data, led to the hypothesis that the Y chromosomal genes have a function in binding chromosomal proteins. The data and arguments in support of this gene model are summarized in this paper.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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