Telomere regions in Drosophila share complex DNA sequences with pericentric heterochromatin

Cell. 1983 Aug;34(1):85-94. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(83)90138-1.


A 12 kb fragment of Drosophila melanogaster DNA cloned in a lambda phage, lambda T-A, is shown by in situ hybridization to contain sequences homologous to DNA at the extreme ends of each of the polytene chromosomes and to the pericentric sequences present in the beta heterochromatin. This pattern of hybridization is seen for each of the four D. melanogaster stocks that have been studied. Most of the sequence in lambda T-A shows no detectable homology to DNA within the banded chromosome arms. (The only exception is what appears to be a short mobile element inserted in lambda T-A. This portion of lambda T-A hybridizes with internal arm sites that vary from stock to stock). Analysis of restriction fragments of genomic DNA indicates that the sequences in lambda T-A are homologous to complex sets of repeated sequences that differ from stock to stock in D. melanogaster. Some, but not all, of the members of these sets are underreplicated during polytenization in D. melanogaster. The sequences in lambda T-A are also homologous to complex sets of repeated sequences in the genomes of other Drosophila species belonging to the melanogaster species group. Pericentric and telomeric localization is conserved in these related species, although analysis of DNA fragments shows marked changes in sequence organization on a finer scale. The constancy of the localization of lambda T-A-homologous sequences to telomeric and pericentric regions suggests that these sequences serve a function in those regions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosomes / analysis*
  • Chromosomes / metabolism
  • DNA / analysis*
  • DNA Replication
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Heterochromatin / analysis*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Species Specificity


  • Heterochromatin
  • DNA