Under the magnifying glass: The ups and downs of rDNA copy number

Selina M. Kindelay, Keith A. Maggert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The ribosomal DNA (rDNA) in Drosophila is found as two additive clusters of individual 35 S cistrons. The multiplicity of rDNA is essential to assure proper translational demands, but the nature of the tandem arrays expose them to copy number variation within and between populations. Here, we discuss means by which a cell responds to insufficient rDNA copy number, including a historical view of rDNA magnification whose mechanism was inferred some 35 years ago. Recent work has revealed that multiple conditions may also result in rDNA loss, in response to which rDNA magnification may have evolved. We discuss potential models for the mechanism of magnification, and evaluate possible consequences of rDNA copy number variation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-48
Number of pages11
JournalSeminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
StatePublished - Feb 28 2023


  • Copy number
  • Drosophila
  • Magnification
  • bobbed
  • rDNA
  • ribosomal DNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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