DNA organization and polymorphism of a wild-type Drosophila telomere region

Chromosoma. 1995 Dec;104(4):229-41. doi: 10.1007/BF00352254.


Telomeres at the ends of linear chromosomes of eukaryotes protect the chromosome termini from degradation and fusion. While telomeric replication/elongation mechanisms have been studied extensively, the functions of subterminal sequences are less well understood. In general, subterminal regions can be quite polymorphic, varying in size from organism to organism, and differing among chromosomes within an organism. The subterminal regions of Drosophila melanogaster are not well characterized today, and it is not known which and how many different components they contain. Here we present the molecular characterization of DNA components and their organization in the subterminal region of the left arm of chromosome 2 of the Oregon RC wild-type strain of D. melanogaster, including a minisatellite with a 457bp repeat length. Two distinct polymorphic arrangements at 2L were found and analyzed, supporting the Drosophila telomere elongation model by retrotransposition. The high incidence of terminal chromosome deficiencies occurring in natural Drosophila populations is discussed in view of the telomere structure at 2L.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Satellite
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Genes, Insect
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Larva / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Retroelements
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Telomere / genetics*


  • DNA, Satellite
  • Retroelements

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U35403
  • GENBANK/U35404