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Mol Genet Genomics. 2007 Mar;277(3):213-20. Epub 2007 Jan 10.

Germ line transformation of the silkworm, Bombyx mori, using the transposable element Minos.

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  • 1Transgenic Silkworm Research Center, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, 1-2 Owashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8634, Japan.


We investigated the use of Minos as a vector for transgenesis in the silkworm, Bombyx mori. We first constructed a vector plasmid with the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene fused with the silkworm cytoplasmic actin gene (A3) promoter, and a helper plasmid with the Minos transposase gene controlled by the same A3 promoter. Injection of the vector and helper plasmid DNA into silkworm eggs produced transgenic animals in the following generation. The efficiency of transgenic silkworm production using this method was much lower than that obtained using piggyBac-mediated germ line transformation. However, >40-fold increase in the efficiency of producing transgenic silkworms was obtained using an in vitro synthesized source of Minos transposase mRNA. We conclude that the Minos transposon is a useful vector for construction of transgenic silkworms, particularly when in vitro synthesized mRNA is used. This is the first report showing that Minos can be used as a vector for germ-line transformation in lepidopteran insects.

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