Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Histone H1 genes and histone gene clusters in the genus Drosophila.

Abstract

Whereas the genomes of many organisms contain several nonallelic types of linker histone genes, one single histone H1 type is known in D. melanogaster that occurs in approximately 100 copies per genome. Amplification of H1 gene sequences from the genomic DNA of wild type strains of D. melanogaster from Oregon (USA), Australia and central Africa yielded numerous clones that all exhibited restriction patterns identical to each other and to those of the known H1 gene sequence. Nucleotide sequences encoding the evolutionarily variable domains of H1 were determined in two gene copies of strain Niamey from central Africa and were found to be identical to the known H1 sequence. Most likely, therefore, the translated sequences of D. melanogaster H1 genes do not exhibit intragenomic or intergenomic variations. In contrast, three different histone H1 genes were isolated from D. virilis and found to encode proteins that differ remarkably from each other and from the H1 of D. melanogaster and D. hydei. Approximately 40 copies of H1 genes are organized in the D. virilis genome with copies of core histone genes in gene quintets that were found to be located in band 25F of chromosome 2. Another type of histone gene cluster is present in about 15 copies per genome and contains a variable intergenic sequence instead of an H1 gene. The H1 heterogeneity in D. virilis may have arisen from higher recombination rates than occur near the H1 locus in D. melanogaster and might provide a basis for formation of different chromatin subtypes.