The clustered and scrambled arrangement of moderately repetitive elements in Drosophila DNA.


An examination of cloned Drosophila DNA has revealed large clusters of densely spaced, short (less than or equal to 1 kb), moderately repetitive elements. Different clusters have many of the same repetitive elements, but these elements are arranged differently in each cluster. It is improbable that this clustered arrangement can be detected by conventional reassociation kinetic and electron microscopic techniques, but it can be detected and features of its fine structure can be determined by a two-dimensional version of Southern's blotting technique. The genomic organization of these clustered repetitive elements was investigated by hybridizing restriction fragments of cloned DNA to polytene chromosomes, to filter-bound recombinant DNA clones and to Southern blots of total Drosophila DNA. These studies demonstrated that clusters occur in euchromatic regions of the chromosomes and that at least one of the clusters has the same repetitive element organization in cloned and in chromosomal DNA. These studies also demonstrated that copies of the elements from one cluster are scattered in at least 1000 chromosomal regions. These regions appear to have differing concentrations of repetitive DNA, but together they account for a large fraction of Drosophila's moderately repetitive DNA. Aside from indicating the genomic organization of cluster elements, this work has identified cluster elements throughout a 9 kb region neighboring one of the heat shock genes, throughout the intron of the major rDNA repeat and within the apparently transposable element, 412.


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