On the mode of gene-dosage compensation in Drosophila. Academic Article uri icon


  • A procedure is described for determining the mode and magnitude of gene-dosage compensation of transformed genes. It involves measurement of the ratio of the activity of a gene inserted at X-linked sites to the activity of the same gene inserted at autosomal sites. Applying the procedure to the Drosophila pseudoobscura Hsp82 gene inserted at ectopic sites in D. melanogaster and taking gene activity as proportional to the amount of transcript per gene copy, we conclude that (1) in both adults and larvae the gene is not compensated at autosomal sites or at a site in beta-heterochromatin at the base of the X chromosome and is fully compensated at euchromatic X-chromosomal sites; (2) inappropriate normalization is responsible for a claim that the gene is compensated at autosomal sites; and (3) the observed compensation operates mainly or entirely by heightened activity of X-linked genes in males, rather than by reduced activity in females.

publication date

  • March 1997