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Saget, O., Randsholt, N.B. (1994). Transposon-induced rearrangements in the duplicated locus ph of Drosophila melanogaster can create new chimeric genes functionally identical to the wild type.  Gene 149(2): 227--235.
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Variation in the number of gene copies can play a major role in changing the coding capacities of eukaryotic genomes. Different mechanisms, such as unequal recombination or transposon-induced chromosome rearrangements, are believed to be responsible for these events. We have used the direct tandem duplication at the complex locus polyhomeotic (ph) of Drosophila melanogaster as a model system to study functional redundancy associated with chromosomal rearrangements, such as duplications or deletions. The locus covers 28.6 kb and comprises two independent units, ph proximal and ph distal, which are not only similar on the molecular level, but appear to be functionally redundant [Dura et al., Cell 51 (1987) 829-839; Deatrick et al., Gene 105 (1991) 185-195]. We present a molecular and phenotypic analysis of two hypomorphic ph mutants, ph2 and ph4, induced during hybrid dysgenesis. Each corresponds to an internal deletion in the ph locus that overlaps both transcription units. We show that the deletions are likely due to a P/M hybrid dysgenesis-induced rearrangement between proximal and distal ph, that created a single new chimerical ph gene. At least one of the breakpoints must be located in a 1247-bp region that is rich in single sequence, and 100% identical between proximal and distal ph. Junction points between units are in the protein-coding regions, but could not be exactly localized on the genomic sequence of either mutant, because of the precise molecular mechanism that caused the deletions. Protein products of the hybrid genes contain the same functional domains as either wild-type (wt) product.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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    Aberrations (2)
    Alleles (10)
    Genes (3)
    Natural transposons (1)
    Insertions (2)
    Transgenic Constructs (1)