Genetical Research

Research Article

Further observations on intragenic recombination in Drosophila melanogaster

Arthur J. Hillikera1 p1 and Arthur Chovnicka1

a1 Genetics and Cell Biology Section, Biological Sciences Group, The University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06268


This report examines several issues bearing upon intragenic recombination in higher eukaryotes. The fine structure data accumulated in our analysis of the genetic organization of the rosy locus in Drosophila melanogaster. Firstly, we confirm that a conversion event has a markedly less than 50% probability of resulting in flanking marker exchange, a finding consistent with more recent analyses of the available Saccharomyces data (e.g. Fogel et al. 1978). As reported earlier, co-conversion of recombinationally separable sites within the rosy locus occurs (McCarron, Gelbart & Chovnick, 1974). In this report, we demonstrate that the frequency of co-conversion is inversely proportional to the distance between co-converting sites. As in fungi, real conversion frequency differences are observed among rosy mutant alleles, and the data suggest that there may be a relationship between allele conversion frequency and map position. Unlike Neurospora and Saccharomyces, only one flanking marker exchange class is recovered from any given mutant heteroallele recombination experiment. In this respect, the Drosophila system resembles Aspergillus. As in Neurospora and Saccharomyces, rosy locus intragenic recombinants associated with flanking marker exchange exhibit interference with crossing over in adjacent regions, while no interference is seen among recombinants exhibiting parental flanking markers. Finally, experimental results are discussed which demonstrate the occurrence of postmeiotic segregation in Drosophila. These analogies between Drosophila and fungi provide further evidence in support of the notion that eukaryotes share common molecular mechanism(s) of meiotic recombination.

(Received April 16 1981)

(Revised May 25 1981)


p1 Present address: Division of Plant Industry, CSIRO, P.O. Box 1600, Canberra City, A.C.T. 2601, Australia.


† To whom reprint requests should be addressed.