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Exchange between the ribosomal RNA genes of X and Y chromosomes in Drosophila melanogaster males

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 April 2009

R. H. Maddern
Department of Radiation Genetics and Chemical Mutagenesis, University of Leiden, and J. A. Cohen Institute, Interuniversity Institute for Radiopathology and Radiation Protection, Leiden, The Netherlands
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The genes coding for the 18s and 28s ribosomal RNA (rRNA) are present on both the X and Y chromosomes of D. melanogaster at a site known as the bobbed locus. Exchange was observed in males between a normally orientated X and Y chromosome (Dp(1; 1) scv1 and BSY y31d) with a frequency of 0·079%. One-quarter (7 in 27) of these exchange products between two + chromosomes which both carried sufficient rRNA genes for a bb+ phenotype exhibited a bb phenotype. Evidence is presented that one-half, and possibly all, of the exchanges involved the repetitive bb genes. These results together with those reported by Palumbo, Caizzi & Ritossa (1973) imply that the repeated bb genes of either (or both) the X or Y chromosome are not arranged with uniform polarity and, further, that spermatogonial exchange between the X and Y chromosomes may be restricted to the bb loci.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1981



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