The maternally inherited regulation of P elements in Drosophila melanogaster can be elicited by two P copies at cytological site 1A on the X chromosome

Genetics. 1991 Oct;129(2):501-12.


Two P elements, inserted at the cytological site 1A on an X chromosome from an Drosophila melanogaster natural population (Lerik, USSR), were isolated by genetic methods to determine if they are sufficient to cause the P cytotype, the cellular condition that regulates the P family of transposable element. The resulting "Lerik P(1A)" line (abbreviated "Lk-P(1A)") carries only one P element in situ hybridization site but genomic Southern analysis indicates that this site contains two, probably full length, P copies separated by at least one EcoRI cleavage site. Because the Lk-P(1A) line shows some transposase activity, at least one of these two P elements is autonomous. The Lk-P(1A) line fully represses germline P element activity as judged by the GD sterility and snw hypermutability assays; this result shows that the P cytotype can be elicited by only two P element copies. However, the Lk-P(1A) line does not fully repress delta 2-3(99B) transposase activity in the soma, although it fully represses delta 2-3(99B) transposase activity in the germline (delta 2-3(99B) is an in vitro modified P element that produces a high level of transposase activity in both the germline and the soma). The germline regulatory properties of the Lk-P(1A) line are maternally transmitted, even when the delta 2-3(99B) element is used as the source of transposase. By contrast, the partial regulation of delta 2-3(99B) somatic activity is chromosomally inherited. These results suggest that the regulatory P elements of the Lk-P(1A) line are inserted near a germline-specific enhancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics*
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Nucleotidyltransferases / genetics
  • Nucleotidyltransferases / metabolism
  • Reproduction / genetics
  • Temperature
  • Transposases
  • X Chromosome*


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Nucleotidyltransferases
  • Transposases