The nucleolus organizer (NO) of the D. melanogaster X chromosome is composed of ribosomal repeat units which contain two types (I and II) of non-rDNA insertions (In+) and repeats with no insertions (In-). Evidence from other laboratories indicate random interspersion of all types of repeat units within the X NO. An EcoRI and BamHI examination of rDNA from two bobbed mutants, bb2rl and mal12 demonstrates segregation of the major type I repeat units. The 46 rDNA repeats of the bb2rl NO contain no detectable major type I repeats whereas the majority of the 68 rDNA mal12 repeats are major type I and tandemly linked. This observation suggests that gross deletions of rDNA can result in nucleolus organizer regions with predominantly one type of repeat unit. Additivity tests demonstrate that the 46 ribosomal repeats of the bb2rl chromosome revert the phenotype of other bobbed NOs, but the 68 mal12 ribosomal repeats show no or slight additivity. This is in agreement with the observation that In+ repeats do not significantly contribute to functional rRNA. A Southern blot analysis using BamHI which cuts only in type I insertions demonstrates that the majority of major type I In+ repeating units exist in tandem linkage group(s) within the X NO.
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