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Mol Gen Genet. 1999 Jan;260(6):503-9.

Dynamic organization of the beta-heterochromatin in the Drosophila melanogaster polytene X chromosome.

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Department of Cytology and Genetics, Novosibirsk State University, Russia.


Region 20 of the polytene X chromosome of Drosophila melanogaster was studied in salivary glands (SG) and pseudonurse cells (PNC) of otu mutants. In SG chromosomes the morphology of the region strongly depends on two modifiers of position effect variegation: temperature and amount of heterochromatin. It is banded in XYY males at 25 degrees C and beta-heterochromatic in X0 males at 14 degrees C, i.e. it shows dynamic transitions. In PNC chromosomes region 20 is not heterochromatic, but demonstrates a clear banding pattern. Some molecular markers of mitotic heterochromatin were localized by means of in situ hybridization on PNC chromosomes: DNA of the gene su(f) in section 20C, the nucleolar organizer and 359-bp satellite in 20F. The 359-bp satellite, which has been considered to be specific for heterochromatin of the mitotic X chromosome, was found at two additional sites on chromosome 3L, proximally to 80C. The right arm of the X chromosome in SG chromosomes was localized in the inversion In(ILR)pn2b: the telomeric HeT-A DNA and AAGAG satellite from the right arm are polytenized, having been relocated from heterochromatin to euchromatin.

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