Sex chromosome dosage compensation (DC) is widely accepted in various organisms. This concept is mostly supported by comparisons of gene expression between chromosomes and between sexes. However, genes on the X chromosome and autosomes are mostly not homologous, and the average gene expression level on these chromosomes may not be the same even under DC, which complicates comparisons between chromosomes. Many genes with sex-biased expression also make comparisons between sexes difficult. To overcome these issues, we investigated DC by comparing the expression of neo-X-linked genes in Drosophila pseudoobscura with those of their autosomal orthologs in other Drosophila species. The ratio of the former to the latter in males would be 1 under DC, whereas it becomes 0.5 without DC. We found that the ratio was ∼0.85 for adult whole bodies, indicating that the DC is incomplete on the neo-X chromosome in adults as a whole. The ratio (∼0.90) was also significantly less than 1 for adult bodies without gonads, whereas it was ∼1.0 for adult heads. These results indicate that DC varies among tissues. Our sliding-window analysis of the ratio also revealed that the upregulation of neo-X-linked genes in males occurred chromosome wide in all tissues analyzed, indicating global upregulation mechanisms. However, we found that gene functions also affected the levels of DC. Furthermore, most of the genes recently moved to the X were already under DC at the larval stage but not at the adult stage. These results suggest that DC in Drosophila species operates in a tissue/stage-dependent manner. © 2013 The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Molecular Biology