Accumulation of P elements in minority inversions in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster

Genet Res. 1992 Feb;59(1):1-9. doi: 10.1017/s0016672300030111.


The accumulation of a transposable element inside chromosomal inversions is examined theoretically by a mathematical model, and empirically by counts of P elements associated with inversion polymorphisms in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster. The model demonstrates that, if heterozygosity for an inversion effectively reduces element associated production of detrimental chromosome rearrangements, a differential accumulation of elements is expected, with increased copy number inside the minority inversion. Several-fold differential accumulations are possible with certain parameter values. We present data on P element counts for inversion polymorphisms on all five chromosome arms of 157 haploid genomes from two African populations. Our observations show significantly increased numbers of elements within the regions associated with the least common, or minority arrangements, in natural inversion polymorphisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Inversion*
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mathematics


  • DNA Transposable Elements