Adjacent satellite DNA segments in Drosophila structure of junctions

J Mol Biol. 1987 Mar 20;194(2):171-9. doi: 10.1016/0022-2836(87)90366-4.


The structure of eight satellite DNA molecules containing a junction between tandem arrays of different repeated sequences is described. In one class of junctions there was an abrupt switch with the juxtaposition of two satellite arrays. These arrays were closely related and the periodicity of repeats was maintained in phase across the junction. These arrays usually showed extreme homogeneity in their repeating sequences. A second class of junctions was more complex, and in two cases may have arisen by the insertion of a mobile element into a satellite array. A novel mechanism of satellite formation is proposed to explain the precision of junctions and sequence similarities of neighboring satellite arrays. Homogeneous satellite arrays would be generated enzymatically by synthesis of a repeat using the preceding repeat as template. Occasional errors in copying of the template, either single base changes or misreading the length of the repeat unit, would lead to abrupt switches in the repeating sequence.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Satellite*
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid


  • DNA, Satellite