Identical Functional Organization of Nonpolytene and Polytene Chromosomes in Drosophila Melanogaster

PLoS One. 2011;6(10):e25960. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0025960. Epub 2011 Oct 11.


Salivary gland polytene chromosomes demonstrate banding pattern, genetic meaning of which is an enigma for decades. Till now it is not known how to mark the band/interband borders on physical map of DNA and structures of polytene chromosomes are not characterized in molecular and genetic terms. It is not known either similar banding pattern exists in chromosomes of regular diploid mitotically dividing nonpolytene cells. Using the newly developed approach permitting to identify the interband material and localization data of interband-specific proteins from modENCODE and other genome-wide projects, we identify physical limits of bands and interbands in small cytological region 9F13-10B3 of the X chromosome in D. melanogaster, as well as characterize their general molecular features. Our results suggests that the polytene and interphase cell line chromosomes have practically the same patterns of bands and interbands reflecting, probably, the basic principle of interphase chromosome organization. Two types of bands have been described in chromosomes, early and late-replicating, which differ in many aspects of their protein and genetic content. As appeared, origin recognition complexes are located almost totally in the interbands of chromosomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA Probes / metabolism
  • Databases, Genetic
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / ultrastructure
  • Genome, Insect / genetics
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Insect Proteins / metabolism
  • Physical Chromosome Mapping
  • Polytene Chromosomes / metabolism*
  • Polytene Chromosomes / ultrastructure


  • DNA Probes
  • Insect Proteins
  • DNA