Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Biology and BioMed Central.

Journal App

google play app store
Open Access Open Badges Correspondence

No severe and global X chromosome inactivation in meiotic male germline of Drosophila

Lyudmila M Mikhaylova and Dmitry I Nurminsky*

Author Affiliations

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Biology 2012, 10:50  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-10-50

Published: 12 June 2012


This article is a response to Vibranovski et al.

See correspondence article webcite and the original research article webcite

We have previously reported a high propensity of testis-expressed X-linked genes to activation in meiotic cells, a similarity in global gene expression between the X chromosome and autosomes in meiotic germline, and under-representation of various types of tissue-specific genes on the X chromosome. Based on our findings and a critical review of the current literature, we believe that there is no global and severe silencing of the X chromosome in the meiotic male germline of Drosophila. The term 'meiotic sex chromosome inactivation' (MSCI) therefore seems misleading when used to describe the minor underexpression of the X chromosome in the testis of Drosophila, because this term erroneously implies a profound and widespread silencing of the X-linked genes, by analogy to the well-studied MSCI system in mammals, and therefore distracts from identification and analysis of the real mechanisms that orchestrate gene expression and evolution in this species.