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Genetics. 1997 Sep;147(1):223-30.

Discordant rates of chromosome evolution in the Drosophila virilis species group.

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Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.


In Drosophila, the availability of polytene chromosome maps and of sets of probes covering most regions of the chromosomes allows a direct comparison of the organization of the genome in different species. In this work, we report the localization, in Drosophila virilis, D. montana, and D. novamexicana, of > 100 bacteriophage PI clones containing approximately 65 kilobase inserts of genomic DNA from D. virilis. Each clone hybridizes with a single euchromatic site in either chromosome 1 or chromosome 3 in D. virilis. From these data, it is possible to estimate the minimum number of inversions required to transform the map positions of the probes in one species into the map positions of the same probes in a related species. The data indicate that, in the D. virilis species group, the X chromosome has up to four times the number of inversions as are observed in chromosome 3. The first photographic polytene chromosome maps for D. montana and D. novamexicana are also presented.

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