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Genes 2018, 9(10), 470; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes9100470

B Chromosomes in the Drosophila Genus

1
Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA
2
Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 September 2018 / Revised: 19 September 2018 / Accepted: 20 September 2018 / Published: 27 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution, Composition and Regulation of Supernumerary B Chromosomes)
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Abstract

Our current knowledge of B chromosome biology has been augmented by an increase in the number and diversity of species observed to carry B chromosomes as well as the use of next-generation sequencing for B chromosome genomic analysis. Within the genus Drosophila, B chromosomes have been observed in a handful of species, but recently they were discovered in a single laboratory stock of Drosophila melanogaster. In this paper, we review the B chromosomes that have been identified within the Drosophila genus and pay special attention to those recently found in D. melanogaster. These newly-discovered B chromosomes have centromeres, telomeres, and a number of simple satellite repeats. They also appear to be entirely heterochromatic since next-generation sequencing of isolated B chromosomes did not detect sequences associated with known genic regions. We also summarize what effects the B chromosomes have been found to have on the A chromosomes. Lastly, we highlight some of the outstanding questions regarding B chromosome biology and discuss how studying B chromosomes in Drosophila melanogaster, which is a versatile model system with a wealth of genetic and genomic tools, may advance our understanding of the B chromosome’s unique biology. View Full-Text
Keywords: Drosophila; supernumerary; satellite DNA; sSMC Drosophila; supernumerary; satellite DNA; sSMC
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Hanlon, S.L.; Hawley, R.S. B Chromosomes in the Drosophila Genus. Genes 2018, 9, 470.

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