The Paternal-Sex-Ratio (PSR) chromosome of Nasonia vitripennis contains several families of repetitive DNAs that show significant sequence divergence but share two palindromic regions. This study reports on the analysis of junctions between two of these repetitive DNA families (psr2 and psr18). Three lambda clones that hybridized to both repeat families were isolated from PSR-genomic DNA libraries through multiple screenings and analyzed by Southern blots. Analysis of clones showed a region in which the two repeat types are interspersed, flanked by uniform blocks of each repeat type. PCR amplification of genomic DNA confirmed the contiguous arrangement of psr2 and psr18 on PSR and identified an additional junction region between these repeats that was not present in the lambda inserts. We isolated and sequenced 41 clones from the lambda inserts and genomic PCR products containing junction sequences. Sequence analysis showed that all transitions between psr2 and psr18 repeats occurred near one of the two palindromes. Based on the inheritance pattern of PSR, recombination between repeats on this chromosome must be mitotic (rather than meiotic) in origin. The occurrence of exchanges near the palindromes suggests that these sequences enhance recombination between repeat units. Rapid amplification of repetitive DNA may have been an important factor in the evolution of the PSR chromosome.
- Repetitive DNA