Heterochromatic distribution of HeT-A- and TART-like sequences in several Drosophila species

Cytogenet Genome Res. 2005;110(1-4):124-33. doi: 10.1159/000084944.


Drosophila melanogaster telomeres contain arrays of two non-LTR retrotransposons called HeT-A and TART. Previous studies have shown that HeT-A- and TART-like sequences are also located at non-telomeric sites in the Y chromosome heterochromatin. By in situ hybridization experiments, we mapped TART sequences in the h16 region of the long arm close to the centromere of the Y chromosome of D. melanogaster. HeT-A sequences were localized in two different regions on the Y chromosome, one very close to the centromere in the short arm (h18-h19) and the other in the long arm (h13-h14). To assess a possible heterochromatic location of TART and HeT-A elements in other Drosophila species, we performed in situ hybridization experiments, using both TART and HeT-A probes, on mitotic and polytene chromosomes of D. simulans, D. sechellia, D. mauritiana, D. yakuba and D. teissieri. We found that TART and HeT-A probes hybridize at specific heterochromatic regions of the Y chromosome in all Drosophila species that we analyzed.

MeSH terms

  • 3' Untranslated Regions / genetics
  • Animals
  • Chromosome Mapping*
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Retroelements / genetics*
  • Telomere / genetics


  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • Retroelements