Engineering the Drosophila genome: chromosome rearrangements by design

Genetics. 1996 Dec;144(4):1693-711.


We show that site-specific recombination can be used to engineer chromosome rearrangements in Drosophila melanogaster. The FLP site-specific recombinase acts on chromosomal target sites located within specially constructed P elements to provide an easy screen for the recovery of rearrangements with breakpoints that can be chosen in advance. Paracentric and pericentric inversions are easily recovered when two elements lie in the same chromosome in opposite orientation. These inversions are readily reversible. Duplications and deficiencies can be recovered by recombination between two elements that lie in the same orientation on the same chromosome or on homologues. We observe that the frequency of recombination between FRTs at ectopic locations decreases as the distance that separates those FRTs increases. We also describe methods to determine the absolute orientation of these P elements within the chromosome. The ability to produce chromosome rearrangements precisely between preselected sites provides a powerful new tool for investigations into the relationships between chromosome arrangement, structure, and function.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Gene Rearrangement*
  • Genes, Insect*
  • Genetic Engineering*
  • Genome