The distribution of male meiotic pairing sites on chromosome 2 of Drosophila melanogaster: meiotic pairing and segregation of 2-Y transpositions

Chromosoma. 1993 Feb;102(3):180-94. doi: 10.1007/BF00387733.


The distribution of meiotic pairing sites on a Drosophila melanogaster autosome was studied by characterizing patterns of prophase pairing and anaphase segregation in males heterozygous for a number of 2-Y transpositions, collectively covering all of chromosome arm 2R and one-fourth of chromosome arm 2L. It was found that all transpositions involving euchromatin from chromosome 2, even short stretches, increased the frequency of prophase I quadrivalents involving the sex and second chromosome bivalents above background levels. Quadrivalent frequencies were the same whether the males carried both elements of the transposition or just the Dp(2:Y) element along with two normal chromosome 2s, indicating that pairing is non-competitive. The frequency of quadrivalents was proportional to the size of the transposed region, suggesting that pairing sites are widely distributed on chromosome 2. Moreover, all but the smallest transpositions caused a detectable bias in the segregation ratio, in favor of alternate segregations, indicating that the prophase associations were effective in orienting centromeres to opposite poles. One transposition involving only heterochromatin of chromosome 2 had no effect on quadrivalent frequency, consistent with previous evidence that autosomal heterochromatin lacks meiotic pairing ability in males. One region at the base of chromosome arm 2L proved to be especially effective in stimulating quadrivalent formation and anaphase segregation, indicating the presence of a strong pairing site in this region. It is concluded that autosomal pairing in D. melanogaster males is based on general homology, despite the lack of homologous recombination.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Chromosomes / ultrastructure*
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Heterozygote
  • Male
  • Meiosis / genetics*
  • Prophase / genetics
  • Spermatocytes / ultrastructure
  • Y Chromosome / ultrastructure


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA