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Argyridou, E.; Huylmans, A. K.; Königer, A. and Parsch, J. (2017): X-linkage is not a general inhibitor of tissue-specific gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster. In: Heredity, Vol. 119, No. 1: pp. 27-34

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As a consequence of its difference in copy number between males and females, the X chromosome is subject to unique evolutionary forces and gene regulatory mechanisms. Previous studies of Drosophila melanogaster have shown that the expression of X-linked, testis-specific reporter genes is suppressed in the male germline. However, it is not known whether this phenomenon is restricted to testis-expressed genes or if it is a more general property of genes with tissue-specific expression, which are also underrepresented on the X chromosome. To test this, we compared the expression of three tissue-specific reporter genes (ovary, accessory gland and Malpighian tubule) inserted at various autosomal and X-chromosomal locations. In contrast to testis-specific reporter genes, we found no reduction of X-linked expression in any of the other tissues. In accessory gland and Malpighian tubule, we detected higher expression of the X-linked reporter genes, which suggests that they are at least partially dosage compensated. We found no difference in the tissue-specificity of X-linked and autosomal reporter genes. These findings indicate that, in general, the X chromosome is not a detrimental environment for tissue-specific gene expression and that the suppression of X-linked expression is limited to the male germline.

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