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J Mol Biol 112: 31-47 (1977)[77230460]

Highly repeated DNA in Drosophila melanogaster.

D. Brutlag, R. Appels, E. S. Dennis & W. J. Peacock

A major fraction (80%) of the highly repeated DNA sequences from the Drosophila melanogaster genome has been isolated as well-defined satellites by buoyant density centrifugation in CsCl gradients containing DNA-binding antibiotics. Four major satellites of densities 1-672 g/cm3, 1.686 g/cm3, 1-68S g/cm3 and 1-705 g/cm3 (in CsCI) were purified and characterized with regard to their amounts in the genome, denaturation-renaturation characteristics and their mode of organization. Several minor satellites were found with one (1-699 g/cm3} apparently representing linkage molecules resulting from covalent joining of large blocks of the major satellites.

Analysis of yields of the 1.705 g/cm3 satellite from DNA of different molecular weights suggested a mean segment length of approximately 100 million bases. Since this satellite accounts for between 4 and 5% of the genome, we deduced it to have approximately eight major sites in chromosomes. These data taken together with the existence of "linkage" molecules are discussed in relation to the possibility of a chromosome-specific arrangement of satellite DNA.

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