Butyrate suppression of position-effect variegation in Drosophila melanogaster

Mol Gen Genet. 1980;178(2):465-9. doi: 10.1007/BF00270501.


The strain of Drosophila melanogaster carrying the inversion of In(1)wm4, which juxtaposes the normal w+ gene to the centromeric heterochromatin, variegages for pigmentation in the eye. This strain was treated with various concentrations of n-butyrate and n-proprionate during the embryonic and larval stages. Concentrations as low as 70 mM markedly suppress the variegated eye phenotype. This suggests that non-acetylated histones play a major role in the phenomenon of position-effect variegation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Butyrates / pharmacology*
  • DNA / genetics
  • Depression, Chemical
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology
  • Eye Color
  • Histones / genetics*
  • Metamorphosis, Biological
  • Phenotype


  • Butyrates
  • Histones
  • DNA