Genetic and molecular organization of the 5S locus and mutants in D. melanogaster

Cell. 1978 Nov;15(3):1087-93. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(78)90292-1.


The topography of an entire redundant locus was analyzed by both genetic and molecular means. Three mutants (min0, min1, min2) allelic to the 5S rRNA genetic locus on chromosome 2 of D. melanogaster were isolated. Flies exhibit a mutant phenotype when hemizygous for a min allele, but flies having two doses are wild-type. Saturation hybridization experiments show that the alleles are gross defieciencies each deleting an equal amount of 5S DNA. Each of the three mutant min alleles produces a distinct temperature-sensitive viability phene, and thus they are suggested to be pseudoalleles within the same redundant locus. Using the segmental aneuploid method (Lindsley et al., 1972), the 5S gene cluster was subdivided into proximal and distal halves. Both saturation hybridization experiments and genetic tests show that each half contains about eighty 5S genes. The complementation of the min alleles with the proximal and distal halves of the cluster indicates that both halves function independently. We present evidence which supports the model that all of the 160 5S genes are arranged as a single continuous cluster of tandem repeats with no large interdispersive DNA segments not complementary to 5S rRNA.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Genes
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Mutation
  • RNA, Ribosomal / genetics*
  • Temperature


  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes