Flying High-Muscle-Specific Underreplication in Drosophila. Academic Article uri icon


  • Drosophila underreplicate the DNA of thoracic nuclei, stalling during S phase at a point that is proportional to the total genome size in each species. In polytene tissues, such as the Drosophila salivary glands, all of the nuclei initiate multiple rounds of DNA synthesis and underreplicate. Yet, only half of the nuclei isolated from the thorax stall; the other half do not initiate S phase. Our question was, why half? To address this question, we use flow cytometry to compare underreplication phenotypes between thoracic tissues. When individual thoracic tissues are dissected and the proportion of stalled DNA synthesis is scored in each tissue type, we find that underreplication occurs in the indirect flight muscle, with the majority of underreplicated nuclei in the dorsal longitudinal muscles (DLM). Half of the DNA in the DLM nuclei stall at S phase between the unreplicated G0 and fully replicated G1. The dorsal ventral flight muscle provides the other source of underreplication, and yet, there, the replication stall point is earlier (less DNA replicated), and the endocycle is initiated. The differences in underreplication and ploidy in the indirect flight muscles provide a new tool to study heterochromatin, underreplication and endocycle control.

published proceedings

  • Genes (Basel)

altmetric score

  • 1.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Johnston, J. S., Zapalac, M. E., & Hjelmen, C. E.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Johnston, J Spencer||Zapalac, Mary E||Hjelmen, Carl E

publication date

  • February 2020


published in