Genomic imprinting of chromatin in Drosophila melanogaster

Genetica. 1996 Jan;97(1):33-7. doi: 10.1007/BF00132578.


During gametogenesis, chromosomes may become imprinted with information which facilitates proper expression of the DNA in offspring. We have used a position effect variegation mutant as a reporter system to investigate the possibility of imprinting in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetic crosses were performed in which the variegating gene and a strong modifier of variegation were present either within the same parental genome or in opposite parental genomes in all possible combinations. Our results indicate that the presence of the variegating chromosome and a modifier chromosome in the same parental genome can alter the amount of variegation formed in progeny. The genomic imprinting we observed is not determined by the parental origin of the variegating chromosome but is instead determined by the genetic background the variegating chromosome is subjected to during gametogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Eye Color / genetics
  • Female
  • Genes, Insect / genetics
  • Genes, Reporter / genetics
  • Genomic Imprinting*
  • Heterochromatin*
  • Male
  • Phenotype


  • Heterochromatin