Germ-line expression of the I factor, a functional LINE from the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, is positively regulated by reactivity, a peculiar cellular state

Mol Gen Genet. 1993 Aug;240(2):277-85. doi: 10.1007/BF00277067.


I factor is a functional LINE (long interspersed nucleotidic element) which is mobilized in the germ-line of dysgenic SF females during I-R hybrid dysgenesis. Such females are obtained when an oocyte from a reactive stock, devoid of I factors but characterized by a level of reactivity, i.e. its potential for hybrid dysgenesis, is fertilized by a spermatozoon from an I factor-containing inducer stock. In a previous paper we described the expression of an I factor-lacZ fusion. Expression was detected in the ovaries of reactive and dysgenic flies only. In this paper we show that this transgenic activity can be quantified and depends upon the maternally inherited reactivity. Reactivity is not just a permissive state and modifiers of the reactivity level such as heat treatment and ageing change the level of expression of our transgenic fusion accordingly. Moreover, ageing through generations has the same cumulative and reversible effect on both reactivity and I factor expression. Using our fusion as a test for reactivity we show that the silencing of I factor after its introduction into a reactive genome may not be established in a single generation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics
  • Animals
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / cytology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / growth & development
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Germ Cells
  • Hot Temperature
  • Male
  • Ovary
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid*
  • Transformation, Genetic
  • beta-Galactosidase / genetics


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • beta-Galactosidase