The timing of the restitution of chromosome breaks induced by X-rays in the mature sperm of Drosophila melanogaster

Mutat Res. 1976 Dec;41(2-3):255-68. doi: 10.1016/0027-5107(76)90099-3.


Drosophila melanogaster males with marked X and Y chromosomes were irradiated, and mature sperm sampled by mating the males to females carrying attached-X chromosomes. Induced loss and partial loss of the paternal sex chromosomes was studied. F1 females were scored according to their phenotype, and transmitted fragments were analyzed genetically. Half of the exceptional F1 females could be scored as "partial losses". Of the apparent total loss exceptions, which were tested, half were carrying detectable fragments. 21% of the transmissible fragments is an under-estimate because only 6 of the 10 chromosome tips were marked in such a way that duplications could be detected. In addition, the markers used were located near, but not at, the chromosome ends. These data are interpreted as indicating that a high proportion of the chromosome loss and partial loss, induced by irradiation of mature sperm, is a consequence of chromatid rearrangements arising from chromosome breaks which stay open until replication. It is suggested that, during the transition from sperm head to mature pronucleus, repair of breaks and chromosome replication are two processes that occur in overlapping time intervals. It is therefore possible for chromosome breaks induced in mature sperm to give rise to chromosome and chromatid rearrangements.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Aberrations*
  • Chromosome Deletion*
  • DNA Repair
  • DNA Replication
  • Drosophila melanogaster / radiation effects*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Sex Chromosomes / radiation effects*
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Spermatozoa / radiation effects*
  • X-Rays