The genetic analysis of meiosis in female Drosophila melanogaster

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1977 Mar 21;277(955):295-312. doi: 10.1098/rstb.1977.0019.


The three major features of meiosis are first synapsis, then exchange, and finally, disjunction of homologous chromosomes; these phenomena occur before pachytene, during pachytene, and after pachytene respectively. The effects of meiotic mutants, or other perturbations, either endogenous or exogenous, on the meiotic process may be assigned tentatively to one of these intervals, based on the earliest discernible abnormality. Thus mutants exhibiting abnormal disjunction and normal exchange affect post-pachytene functions; mutants exhibiting abnormal disjunction and exchange but with ultrastructurally normal appearing synaptonemal complex affect pachytene functions; and mutants with abnormal disjunction, exchange, and synaptonemal complex affect prepachytene functions. This rationale is applied to the temporal seriation of effects of meiotic mutants and chromosomal abnormalities on the meiotic programme.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin / physiology
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Chromosome Disorders
  • Chromosomes / physiology
  • Chromosomes / ultrastructure
  • DNA Repair
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Female
  • Genes*
  • Heterochromatin / physiology
  • Meiosis*
  • Mutation
  • Oocytes / physiology
  • Recombination, Genetic* / radiation effects
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Chromatin
  • Heterochromatin