Drosophila melanogaster does not share the telomeric repeat sequence of another invertebrate, Ascaris lumbricoides

Mol Gen Genet. 1993 Jan;236(2-3):440-2. doi: 10.1007/BF00277145.


The DNA at the chromosomal termini of all eukaryotes from which it has been isolated contains a characteristic sequence motif consisting of tandem arrays of a regular or irregular repeat unit. These terminal repeats are thought to be essential for the maintenance of the chromosome ends. The sequences of the terminal repeats of all vertebrates studied thus far are identical and are similar enough to those of higher plants and some protozoans to cross-hybridize. However, previous studies have not detected cross-hybridization between the DNA of Drosophila melanogaster and the terminal DNA sequences of any of several organisms tested. Recently, the first terminal DNA clone from a multicellular invertebrate, that of Ascaris lumbricoides, was reported also to consist of a tandem reiteration of a short sequence similar to those previously identified for other eukaryotes. Here I show that a probe for this sequence from A. lumbricoides fails to hybridize detectably to the DNA of D. melanogaster. Thus, in contrast to their conservation among vertebrates, the terminal chromosomal sequences appear not to be shared by all metazoan invertebrates.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ascaris lumbricoides / genetics*
  • Biological Evolution
  • DNA Probes
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid / genetics*
  • Telomere*


  • DNA Probes