Review Article on the 3D Genome Organization and Function in Drosophila

Three-Dimensional Genome Organization and Function in Drosophila

Yuri B. Schwartz, Giacomo Cavalli

GENETICS January 1, 2017 vol. 205 no. 1 5-24;

DOI: 10.1534/genetics.115.185132


Understanding how the metazoan genome is used during development and cell differentiation is one of the major challenges in the postgenomic era. Early studies in Drosophila suggested that three-dimensional (3D) chromosome organization plays important regulatory roles in this process and recent technological advances started to reveal connections at the molecular level. Here we will consider general features of the architectural organization of the Drosophila genome, providing historical perspective and insights from recent work. We will compare the linear and spatial segmentation of the fly genome and focus on the two key regulators of genome architecture: insulator components and Polycomb group proteins. With its unique set of genetic tools and a compact, well annotated genome, Drosophila is poised to remain a model system of choice for rapid progress in understanding principles of genome organization and to serve as a proving ground for development of 3D genome-engineering techniques.

Giacomo Cavalli