Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Synthesis of Ribonucleic Acid by the X-Chromosomes of Drosophila melanogaster and the Problem of Dosage Compensation


INVESTIGATIONS of the expression of various sex-linked genes in Drosophila have shown that for most of them their phenotypic manifestation is identical in male and female. Stern1, Muller2 and later Muller et al.3 by use of mutations such as bobbed and apricot in various doses showed that the identity and equality of genie expression between the two sexes are not associated, a priori, with the development of sex, but rather involves a system of genes, plus and minus modifiers, which regardless of sex tends to repress the action of extra doses of sex-linked genes. Muller proposed the name ‘dosage compensation’ for this effect and concluded that for each sex-linked gene there is a set of ‘compensator genes’4.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Stern, C., Biol. Zbl., 49, 261 (1929).

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Muller, H. J., Proc. Sixth Intern. Congr. Genet., 1, 213 (1932).

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Lieb, M., M.A. thesis, Indiana (1942) (quoted in ref. 5).

  4. 4

    Muller, H. J., Harvey Lecture, Ser. XIII, 1947–1948, 1, 165 (1950).

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Cock, A. G., Gen. Res., 5, 354 (1964).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Lyon, M. F., Gen. Res., 4, 93 (1963).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Russel, L. B., Science, 140, 976 (1963).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Stern, C., Canad. J. Gen. and Cytol., 2, 105 (1960).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Rudkin, G. T., in The Nueleohistones, edit. by Bonner, J., and Ts'o, P (Holden Day Inc., 1964).

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Dobzhansky, Th., Chromosoma, 8, 691 (1957).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Aronson, J. F., Rudkin, G. T., and Schultz, J., J. Histochem. Cytochem., 2, 458 (1954).

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Schmid, W., Cytogenetics, 2, 175 (1963).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

MUKHERJEE, A., BEERMANN, W. Synthesis of Ribonucleic Acid by the X-Chromosomes of Drosophila melanogaster and the Problem of Dosage Compensation. Nature 207, 785–786 (1965).

Download citation

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing