, Volume 120, Issue 4, pp 335–351

Homolog pairing and sister chromatid cohesion in heterochromatin in Drosophila male meiosis I


    • Department of Biochemistry, Cellular, and Molecular BiologyUniversity of Tennessee
  • Rihui Yan
    • Department of Biochemistry, Cellular, and Molecular BiologyUniversity of Tennessee
  • Bruce D. McKee
    • Department of Biochemistry, Cellular, and Molecular BiologyUniversity of Tennessee
    • Genome Science and Technology ProgramUniversity of Tennessee
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00412-011-0314-0

Cite this article as:
Tsai, J., Yan, R. & McKee, B.D. Chromosoma (2011) 120: 335. doi:10.1007/s00412-011-0314-0


Drosophila males undergo meiosis without recombination or chiasmata but homologous chromosomes pair and disjoin regularly. The X–Y pair utilizes a specific repeated sequence within the heterochromatic ribosomal DNA blocks as a pairing site. No pairing sites have yet been identified for the autosomes. To search for such sites, we utilized probes targeting specific heterochromatic regions to assay heterochromatin pairing sequences and behavior in meiosis by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). We found that the small fourth chromosome pairs at heterochromatic region 61 and associates with the X chromosome throughout prophase I. Homolog pairing of the fourth chromosome is disrupted when the homolog conjunction complex is perturbed by mutations in SNM or MNM. On the other hand, six tested heterochromatic regions of the major autosomes proved to be largely unpaired after early prophase I, suggesting that stable homolog pairing sites do not exist in heterochromatin of the major autosomes. Furthermore, FISH analysis revealed two distinct patterns of sister chromatid cohesion in heterochromatin: regions with stable cohesion and regions lacking cohesion. This suggests that meiotic sister chromatid cohesion is incomplete within heterochromatin and may occur at specific preferential sites.



Centromere identifier


Fluorescence in situ hybridization


Modifier of Mdg4 in meiosis


Ribosomal DNA




Synaptonemal complex


Stromalin in meiosis


Sisters on the LOose

Supplementary material

412_2011_314_MOESM1_ESM.doc (64 kb)
Supplementary Tables 1–2 (DOC 64.0 kb)
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High resolution image (EPS 2.55 mb)
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High resolution image (EPS 2.21 mb)
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High resolution image (EPS 1.97 mb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011