Degenerating gypsy retrotransposons in a male fertility gene on the Y chromosome of Drosophila hydei

J Mol Evol. 1994 Nov;39(5):452-65. doi: 10.1007/BF00173414.


During the evolution of the Y chromosome of Drosophila hydei, retrotransposons became incorporated into the lampbrush loop pairs formed by several of the male fertility genes on this chromosome. Although insertions of retrotransposons are involved in many spontaneous mutations, they do not affect the functions of these genes. We have sequenced gypsy elements that are expressed as constituents of male fertility gene Q in the lampbrush loop pair Nooses. We find that these gypsy elements are all truncated and specifically lost those sequences that may interfere with the continuity of lampbrush loop transcription. Only defective coding regions are found within the loop. Gypsy is not transcribed in loops of many other Drosophila species harboring the family. These results suggest that any contribution of gypsy to the function of male fertility gene Q does not depend on a conserved DNA sequence.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Fertility / genetics
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Genes, Insect / genetics*
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Male
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Retroelements / genetics*
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Y Chromosome / genetics*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Retroelements
  • su(Hw) protein, Drosophila

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X74536
  • GENBANK/X74537
  • GENBANK/X74538
  • GENBANK/X74539
  • GENBANK/X74540
  • GENBANK/X74541
  • GENBANK/X74542
  • GENBANK/X74543