P1 Clones From Drosophila Melanogaster as Markers to Study the Chromosomal Evolution of Muller's A Element in Two Species of the Obscura Group of Drosophila

Chromosoma. 1995 Nov;104(2):129-36. doi: 10.1007/BF00347695.


Thirty P1 clones from the X chromosome (Muller's A element) of Drosophila melanogaster were cross-hybridized in situ to Drosophila subobscura and Drosophila pseudoobscura polytene chromosomes. An additional recombinant phage lambda Dsuby was also used as a marker. Twenty-three (77%) of the P1 clones gave positive hybridization on D. pseudoobscura chromosomes but only 16 (53%) did so with those of D. subobscura. Eight P1 clones gave more than one hybridization signal on D. pseudoobscura and/or D. subobscura chromosomes. All P1 clones and lambda Dsuby hybridized on Muller's A element (X chromosome) of D. subobscura. In contrast, only 18 P1 clones and lambda Dsuby hybridized on Muller's A element (XL chromosomal arm) of D. pseudoobscura; 4 additional P1 clones hybridized on Muller's D element (XR chromosomal arm) of this species and the remaining P1 clone gave one hybridization signal on each arm of the X chromosome. This latter clone may contain one breakpoint of a pericentric inversion that may account for the interchange of genetic material between Muller's A and D elements in D. pseudoobscura. In contrast to the rare interchange of genetic material between chromosomal elements, profound differences in the order and spacing of markers were detected between D. melanogaster, D. pseudoobscura and D. subobscura. In fact, the number of chromosomal segments delimited by identical markers and conserved between pairwise comparisons is small. Therefore, extensive reorganization within Muller's A element has been produced during the divergence of the three species. Rough estimates of the number of cytologically detectable inversions contributing to differentiation of Muller's A element were obtained. The most reliable of these estimates is that obtained from the D. pseudoobscura and D. melanogaster comparison since a greater number of markers have been mapped in both species. Tentatively, one inversion breakpoint about every 200 kb has been produced and fixed during the divergence of D. pseudoobscura and D. melanogaster.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Inversion
  • Chromosome Mapping / methods*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Drosophila / classification
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genetic Markers*
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • X Chromosome*


  • Genetic Markers