Insertional mutagenesis of Drosophila heterochromatin with single P elements

Ping Zhang, Allan C. Spradling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Insertional mutagenesis with transposable P elements has greatly facilitated the identification and analysis of genes located throughout the 70% of the Drosophila melanogaster genome classified as euchromatin. In contrast, genetically marked P elements have only rarely been shown to transpose into heterochromatin. By carrying out single P element insertional mutagenesis under conditions where position-effect variegation was suppressed, we efficiently generated strains containing insertions at diverse sites within centromeric and Y-chromosome heterochromatin. The tendency of P elements to transpose locally was shown to operate within heterochromatin, and it further enhanced the recovery of heterochromatic insertions. Three of the insertions disrupted vital genes known to be present at low density in heterochromatin. Strains containing single P element insertions will greatly facilitate the structural and functional analysis of this poorly understood genomic component.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3539-3543
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number9
StatePublished - Apr 26 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Genetics


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