Detection of P element transcripts in embryos of Drosophila melanogaster and D. willistoni

Anais Da Academia Brasileira De Ciências
Monica Laner BlauthV L S Valente


The P element is one of the most thoroughly studied transposable elements (TE). Its mobilization causes the hybrid dysgenesis that was first described in Drosophila melanogaster. While studies of the P element have mainly been done in D. melanogaster, it is believed that Drosophila willistoni was the original host species of this TE and that P was transposed to the D. melanogaster genome by horizontal transfer. Our study sought to compare the transcriptional behavior of the P element in embryos of D. melanogaster, which is a recent host, with embryos of two strains of D. willistoni, a species that has contained the P element for a longer time. In both species, potential transcripts of transposase, the enzyme responsible for the TE mobilization, were detected, as were transcripts of the 66-kDa repressor, truncated and antisense sequences, which can have the ability to prevent TEs mobilization. The truncated transcripts reveal the truncated P elements present in the genome strains and whose number seems to be related to the invasion time of the genome by the TE. No qualitative differences in antisense transcripts were observed among the strains, even in the D. willistoni strain with the highest frequency of heterochromatic P elem...Continue Reading


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