DNA representation of variegating heterochromatic P-element inserts in diploid and polytene tissues of Drosophila melanogaster

Chromosoma. 1996 Apr;104(7):519-27. doi: 10.1007/BF00352116.


Position-effect variegation (PEV) is the mosaic expression of a euchromatic gene brought into juxtaposition with heterochromatin. Fourteen different transformed Drosophila melanogaster lines with variegating P-element inserts were used to examine the DNA levels of these transgenes. Insert sites include pericentric, telomeric and fourth chromosome regions. Southern blot analyses showed that the heterochromatic hsp26 transgenes are underrepresented 1.3- to 33-fold in polytene tissue relative to the endogenous euchromatic hsp26 gene. In contrast, the heterochromatic hsp26 transgenes are present in approximately the same copy number as the endogenous euchromatic hsp26 gene in diploid tissue. It appears unlikely that DNA loss could account for the lack of gene expression in diploid tissues seen with these examples of PEV.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters*
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Chromatin / genetics*
  • DNA Transposable Elements / genetics*
  • Diploidy
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / growth & development
  • Euchromatin
  • Eye Color / genetics
  • Eye Proteins*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genes, Insect
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics*
  • Heterochromatin / genetics*
  • Insect Hormones / genetics
  • Larva
  • Male
  • Mosaicism / genetics*
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Salivary Glands / ultrastructure
  • Telomere


  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Chromatin
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Euchromatin
  • Eye Proteins
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Heterochromatin
  • Hsp26 protein, Drosophila
  • Insect Hormones
  • w protein, Drosophila