The paracentric inversion In(2Rh)PL alters the centromeric organization of chromosome 2 in Drosophila melanogaster

Sarantis Chlamydas, Patrick Heun, Patrizio Dimitri, Roberta Moschetti, Paolo Barsanti, Ruggiero Caizzi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Centromeres are complex structures involved in an evolutionarily conserved function, the correct segregation of chromosomes and chromatids during meiosis and mitosis. The centromere is determined by epigenetic processes that result in a particular nucleosome organization (CEN chromatin) that differs from the rest of the chromatin including the heterochromatin that normally surrounds the centromere in higher organisms. Many of the current models of centromere origin and organization rely on the molecular and cytological characterization of minichromosomes and their derivatives, and on studies on the origin and maintenance of neocentromeres. Here, we describe the peculiar centromere organization observed in In(2Rh)PL, a paracentric D. melanogaster inversion in which the centromere is maintained in its natural context but is directly flanked by a euchromatic domain as a result of the rearrangement. We have identified the breakpoints of the inversion and show that the proximal one is within the centromere region. The data presented suggest that, notwithstanding the loss of all the pericentric 2Rh heterochromatin, the centromere of the In(2Rh)PL chromosome is still active but presents a nucleosomal organization quite different from the organization usually observed in the centromeric region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalChromosome Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Breakpoint mapping
  • CEN chromatin
  • Chromosomal inversion
  • Drosophila melanogaster


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