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EMBO J. 1989 Apr;8(4):997-1004.

Activity of the transposon Tam3 in Antirrhinum and tobacco: possible role of DNA methylation.

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  • 1John Innes Institute, Norwich, UK.


The transposon Tam3 from Antirrhinum majus can transpose in a heterologous host (Nicotiana tabacum); thus the element is autonomous, probably encoding the specific information required for its own transposition. In transgenic tobacco Tam3 rapidly becomes methylated at its ends whilst adjacent flanking sequences remain hypomethylated. This methylation may account for our failure to detect Tam3 transposition in the progeny of transgenic tobacco. Treatment with the inhibitor of cytosine methylation, 5 aza-cytosine appeared to induce transposon related activity at a low level. In Antirrhinum methylation also appears to be associated with inactivation of Tam3 copies.

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