Sex chromosome-specific regulation in the drosophila male germline but little evidence for chromosomal dosage compensation or meiotic inactivation

Colin D. Meiklejohn, Emily L. Landeen, Jodi M. Cook, Sarah B. Kingan, Daven C. Presgraves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Scopus citations

Abstract

The evolution of heteromorphic sex chromosomes (e.g., XY in males or ZW in females) has repeatedly elicited the evolution of two kinds of chromosome-specific regulation: dosage compensation-the equalization of X chromosome gene expression in males and females- and meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI)-the transcriptional silencing and heterochromatinization of the X during meiosis in the male (or Z in the female) germline. How the X chromosome is regulated in the Drosophila melanogaster male germline is unclear. Here we report three new findings concerning gene expression from the X in Drosophila testes. First, X chromosome-wide dosage compensation appears to be absent from most of the Drosophila male germline. Second, microarray analysis provides no evidence for X chromosome-specific inactivation during meiosis. Third, we confirm the previous discovery that the expression of transgene reporters driven by autosomal spermatogenesis-specific promoters is strongly reduced when inserted on the X chromosome versus the autosomes; but we show that this chromosomal difference in expression is established in premeiotic cells and persists in meiotic cells. The magnitude of the X-autosome difference in transgene expression cannot be explained by the absence of dosage compensation, suggesting that a previously unrecognized mechanism limits expression from the X during spermatogenesis in Drosophila. These findings help to resolve several previously conflicting reports and have implications for patterns of genome evolution and speciation in Drosophila.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1001126
JournalPLoS biology
Volume9
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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