Chromosome rearrangement by ectopic recombination in Drosophila melanogaster: genome structure and evolution

Genetics. 1991 Dec;129(4):1085-98. doi: 10.1093/genetics/129.4.1085.


Ectopic recombination between interspersed repeat sequences generates chromosomal rearrangements that have a major impact on genome structure. A survey of ectopic recombination in the region flanking the white locus of Drosophila melanogaster identified 25 transposon-mediated rearrangements from four parallel experiments. Eighteen of the 25 were generated from females carrying X chromosomes heterozygous for interspersed repeat sequences. The cytogenetic and molecular analyses of the rearrangements and the parental chromosomes show: (1) interchromosomal and intrachromosomal recombinants are generated in about equal numbers; (2) ectopic recombination appears to be a meiotic process that is stimulated by the interchromosomal effect to about the same degree as regular crossing over; (3) copies of the retrotransposon roo were involved in all of the interchromosomal exchanges; some copies were involved much more frequently than others in the target region; (4) homozygosis for interspersed repeat sequences and other sequence variations significantly reduced ectopic recombination.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Eye Color / genetics
  • Female
  • Genes
  • Genetics, Population
  • Heterozygote
  • Homozygote
  • Male
  • Recombination, Genetic*
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid*
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Translocation, Genetic
  • X Chromosome