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Evolution of the chromosomal location of rDNA genes in two Drosophila species subgroups: ananassae and melanogaster.

Abstract : The evolution of the chromosomal location of ribosomal RNA gene clusters and the organization of heterochromatin in the Drosophila melanogaster group were investigated using fluorescence in situ hybridization and DAPI staining to mitotic chromosomes. The investigation of 18 species (11 of which were being examined for the first time) belonging to the melanogaster and ananassae subgroups suggests that the ancestral configuration consists of one nucleolus organizer (NOR) on each sex chromosome. This pattern, which is conserved throughout the melanogaster subgroup, except in D. simulans and D. sechellia, was observed only in the ercepeae complex within the ananassae subgroup. Both sex-linked NORs must have been lost in the lineage leading to D. varians and in the ananassae and bipectinata complexes, whereas new sites, characterized by intra-species variation in hybridization signal size, appeared on the fourth chromosome related to heterochromatic rearrangements. Nucleolar material is thought to be required for sex chromosome pairing and disjunction in a variety of organisms including Drosophila. Thus, either remnant sequences, possibly intergenic spacer repeats, are still present in the sex chromosomes which have lost their NORs (as observed in D. simulans and D. sechellia), or an alternative mechanism has evolved.
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Submitted on : Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 3:48:52 PM
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Virginie Roy, Laurence Monti-Dedieu, Nicole Chaminade, Sonia Siljak-Yakovlev, Sylvie Aulard, et al.. Evolution of the chromosomal location of rDNA genes in two Drosophila species subgroups: ananassae and melanogaster.. Heredity, Nature Publishing Group, 2005, 94 (4), pp.388-95. ⟨10.1038/sj.hdy.6800612⟩. ⟨bioemco-00360896⟩



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