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Genetics. 1984 Aug;107(4):591-610.

Cytogenetic analysis of a segment of the Y chromosome of Drosophila melanogaster.


Males carrying a large deficiency in the long arm of the Y chromosome known to delete the fertility gene kl-2 are sterile and exhibit a complex phenotype: (1) First metaphase chromosomes are irregular in outline and appear sticky; (2) spermatids contain micronuclei; (3) the nebenkerns of the spermatids are nonuniform in size; (4) a high molecular weight protein ordinarily present in sperm is absent; and (5) crystals appear in the nucleus and cytoplasm of spermatocytes and spermatids. In such males that carry Ste+ on their X chromosome the crystals appear long and needle shaped; in Ste males the needles are much shorter and assemble into star-shaped aggregates. The large deficiency may be subdivided into two shorter component deficiencies. The more distal is male sterile and lacks the high molecular weight polypeptide; the more proximal is responsible for the remainder of the phenotype. Ste males carrying the more proximal component deficiency are sterile, but Ste+ males are fertile. Genetic studies of chromosome segregation in such males reveal that (1) both the sex chromosomes and the large autosomes undergo nondisjunction, (2) the fourth chromosomes disjoin regularly, (3) sex chromosome nondisjunction is more frequent in cells in which the second or third chromosomes nondisjoin than in cells in which autosomal disjunction is regular, (4) in doubly exceptional cells, the sex chromosomes tend to segregate to the opposite pole from the autosomes and (5) there is meiotic drive; i.e., reciprocal meiotic products are not recovered with equal frequencies, complements with fewer chromosomes being recovered more frequently than those with more chromosomes. The proximal component deficiency can itself be further subdivided into two smaller component deficiencies, both of which have nearly normal spermatogenic phenotypes as observed in the light microscope. Meiosis in Ste+ males carrying either of these small Y deficiencies is normal; Ste males, however, exhibit low levels of sex chromosome nondisjunction with either deficient Y. The meiotic phenotype is apparently sensitive to the amount of Y chromosome missing and to the Ste constitution of the X chromosome.

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