Elevated levels of expression associated with regions of the Drosophila genome that lack crossing over

Penelope R. Haddrill, Fergal M. Waldron, Brian Charlesworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The recombinational environment influences patterns of molecular evolution through the effects of Hill-Robertson interference. Here, we examine genome-wide patterns of gene expression with respect to recombinational environment in Drosophila melanogaster. We find that regions of the genome lacking crossing over exhibit elevated levels of expression, and this is most pronounced for genes on the entirely non-crossing over fourth chromosome. We find no evidence for differences in the patterns of gene expression between regions of high, intermediate and low crossover frequencies. These results suggest that, in the absence of crossing over, selection to maintain control of expression may be compromised, perhaps due to the accumulation of deleterious mutations in regulatory regions. Alternatively, higher gene expression may be evolving to compensate for defective protein products or reduced translational efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)758-761
Number of pages4
JournalBiology letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2008


  • recombination
  • crossing over
  • Drosophila
  • gene expression

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