Testing chromosomal phylogenies and inversion breakpoint reuse in Drosophila. The martensis cluster revisited

Carlos F. Prada, Alejandra Delprat, Alfredo Ruiz

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The chromosomal relationships of the four martensis cluster species are among the most complex and intricate within the entire Drosophila repleta group, due to the so-called sharing of inversions. Here, we have revised these relationships using comparative mapping of bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones on the salivary gland chromosomes. A physical map of chromosome 2 of Drosophila uniseta (one of the cluster members) was generated by in situ hybridization of 82 BAC clones from the physical map of the Drosophila buzzatii genome (an outgroup that represents the ancestral arrangement). By comparing the marker positions, we determined the number, order, and orientation of conserved chromosomal segments between chromosome 2 of D. buzzatii and D. uniseta. GRIMM software was used to infer that a minimum of five chromosomal inversions are necessary to transform the chromosome 2 of D. buzzatii into that of D. uniseta. Two of these inversions have been overlooked in previous cytological analyses. The five fixed inversions entail two breakpoint reuses because only nine syntenic segments and eight interruptions were observed. We tested for the presence of the five inversions fixed in D. uniseta in the other three species of the martensis cluster by in situ hybridization of eight breakpoint-bearing BAC clones. The results shed light on the chromosomal phylogeny of the martensis cluster, yet leave a number of questions open. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-265
JournalChromosome Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011


  • Breakpoint reuse
  • Chromosomal inversions
  • Drosophila
  • In situ hybridization
  • Phylogeny


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