Retrotranspostion of I factors in the female germline of Drosophila melanogaster is responsible for the so called I-R hybrid dysgenesis, a phenomenon that produces a broad spectrum of genetic abnormalities including reduced fertility, increased frequency of mutations and chromosome loss. Transposition of I factor depends on cellular conditions that are established in the oocytes of the reactive females and transmitted to their daughters. The so-called reactivity is a cellular state that may exhibit variable levels of expression and represents a permissive condition for I transposition at high levels. Defective I elements have been proposed to be the genetic determinants of reactivity and, through their differential expression, to modulate transposition of active copies in somatic and/or germ line cells. Recently, control of transposable element activity in the germ line has been found to depend on pi-RNAs, small repressive RNAs interacting with Piwi-family proteins and derived from larger transposable elements (TE)-derived primary transcripts. In particular, maternally transmitted I-element piRNAs originating from the 42AB region of polytene chromosomes were found to be involved in control of I element mobility. In the present work, we use a combination of cytological and molecular approaches to study the activity of I elements in three sublines of the inducer y; cn bw; sp isogenic strain and in dysgenic and non-dysgenic genetic backgrounds. Overall, the results of FISH and Southern blotting experiments clearly show that I elements are highly unstable in the Montpellier subline in the absence of classical dysgenic conditions. Such instability appears to be correlated to th
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.