The modern concept of intercalary heterochromatin as polytene chromosome regions exhibiting a number of specific characteristics is formulated. DNA constituting these regions is replicated late in the S period; therefore, some strands of polytene chromosomes are underrepresented; i.e., they are underreplicated. Late-replicating regions account for about 7% of the genome; genes are located there in clusters of as many as 40. In general, the gene density in the clusters is substantially lower than in the main part of the genome. Late-replicating regions have an inactivating capacity: genes incorporated into these regions as parts of transposons are inactivated with a higher probability. These regions contain a specific protein SUUR affecting the rate of replication completion.
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