, Volume 105, Issue 3, pp 172-179

Timing of differential amplification of macronucleus-destined sequences during macronuclear development in the hypotrichous ciliateEuplotes crassus

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The change in copy numbers of macronucleus-destined gene sequences was followed in anlagen DNA during postconjugational development inEuplotes crassus. As noted earlier, copy numbers increase during the polytene stage. During this replication process major differential amplification of different genes is not observed. Instead it is only achieved during or shortly after the fragmentation of the polytene chromosomes. This process is not totally synchronous with respect to different genes. Highly amplified genes are excised earlier than genes with a low final macronuclear copy number. Unexpectedly, the pattern of processing of the newly added oversized telomeres also appears to correlate with the degree of gene amplification. These observations are discussed in terms of a limited replication period after polytene chromosome fragmentation leading to preferential amplification of early excised genes.