Molecular characterization of teflon, a gene required for meiotic autosome segregation in male Drosophila melanogaster

Genetics. 2006 Sep;174(1):125-34. doi: 10.1534/genetics.106.061556. Epub 2006 Jul 2.


Drosophila melanogaster males lack recombination and have evolved a mechanism of meiotic chromosome segregation that is independent of both the chiasmatic and achiasmatic segregation systems of females. The teflon (tef) gene is specifically required in males for proper segregation of autosomes and provides a genetic tool for understanding recombination-independent mechanisms of pairing and segregation as well as differences in sex chromosome vs. autosome segregation. Here we report on the cloning of the tef gene and the molecular characterization of tef mutations. Rescue experiments using a GAL4-driven pUAS transgene demonstrate that tef corresponds to predicted Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project (BDGP) gene CG8961 and that tef expression is required in the male germ line prior to spermatocyte stage S4. Consistent with this early prophase requirement, expression of tef was found to be independent of regulators of meiotic M phase initiation or progression. The predicted Tef protein contains three C2H2 zinc-finger motifs, one at the amino terminus and two in tandem at the carboxyl terminus. In addition to the zinc-finger motifs, a 44- to 45-bp repeat is conserved in three related Drosophila species. On the basis of these findings, we propose a role for Tef as a bridging molecule that holds autosome bivalents together via heterochromatic connections.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / genetics*
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / isolation & purification*
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / metabolism
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosome Segregation / genetics*
  • DNA, Complementary / isolation & purification
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genes, Insect
  • Heterochromatin
  • Male
  • Meiosis / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nondisjunction, Genetic
  • Phylogeny
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Transgenes / physiology


  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Heterochromatin
  • Tef protein, Drosophila

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AY840216
  • GENBANK/AY840217
  • GENBANK/AY840218
  • GENBANK/AY840219
  • GENBANK/AY840220
  • GENBANK/AY840221