Letter | Published:

Non-random X-Inactivation in the Female Mule

Nature volume 222, pages 12771278 (28 June 1969) | Download Citation

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Abstract

THE mule (2n=63) is a hybrid between a jack donkey (Equus asinus, 2n=62) and a mare (E. caballus, 2n=64). The two chromosome complements are quite distinct, and in particular the X chromosomes differ morphologically; the donkey X (XD) is submetacentric and the horse X (XH) is metacentric (Fig. 1). It has also been shown that the glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) locus is X-linked in both1,2. The electrophoretic phenotype consists of a fast and slow band in both species, the G6PD of the donkey moving faster than the G6PD of the horse (Fig. 2). If one of the X chromosomes in the female mule is inactivated at random and if this inactivation can be recognized by a delay in its DNA synthesis3–5, then about 50 per cent of cells should show a late replicating XH and 50 per cent a late replicating XD. Furthermore, the G6PD pattern in the mule should consist of three bands, a fast G6PD-donkey, a mixed intermediate band corresponding to the slow G6PD-donkey plus the fast G6PD-horse and finally a slow G6PD-horse (Fig. 2).

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Author information

Author notes

    • J. HALLETT

    Present address: 1 Thabana Gardens, 53 Old Pretoria Road, Craighall, Johannesburg.

Affiliations

  1. Paediatric Research Unit, Guy's Hospital Medical School, London SE1.

    • J. L. HAMERTON
    • , F. GIANNELLI
    • , F. COLLINS
    • , J. HALLETT
    • , A. FRYER
    •  & V. M. MCGUIRE
  2. Department of Veterinary Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge.

    • R. V. SHORT

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https://doi.org/10.1038/2221277a0

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