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Mol Ecol. 2015 Sep;24(17):4340-7. doi: 10.1111/mec.13335.

1.688 g/cm(3) satellite-related repeats: a missing link to dosage compensation and speciation.

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Center for Integrative Bioinformatics Vienna (CIBIV), Max F Perutz Laboratories, University of Vienna and Medical University of Vienna, Campus Vienna Biocenter 5, A-1030, Vienna, Austria.


Despite the important progress that has been made on dosage compensation (DC), a critical link in our understanding of the X chromosome recognition mechanisms is still missing. Recent studies in Drosophila indicate that the missing link could be a family of DNA repeats populating the euchromatin of the X chromosome. In this opinion article, I discuss how these findings add a new fresh twist on the DC problem. In the following sections, I first summarize our understanding of DC in Drosophila and integrate these recent discoveries into our knowledge of the X chromosome recognition problem. Next, I introduce a model according to which, 1.688 g/cm(3) satellite-related (SR) repeats would be the primary recognition elements for the dosage compensation complex. Contrary to the current belief, I suggest that the DC system in Drosophila is not conserved and static, but it is continuously co-evolving with the target SR repeats. The potential role of the SR repeats in hybrid incompatibilities and speciation is also discussed.


DNA repeats; Drosophila; X chromosome; dosage compensation; speciation

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