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Plant Cell. 1991 May;3(5):473-482.

Variable Patterns of Transposition of the Maize Element Activator in Tobacco.

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DNA Plant Technology Corporation, 6701 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland, California 94608.


The strategy to be followed in a transposon tagging experiment will be determined largely by the transposition pattern of the transposon in question. With a view to utilizing the maize element Activator (Ac) as a transposon tag in heterologous systems, we investigated the pattern of Ac transposition from six different loci in transgenic tobacco. We isolated germinal revertants from plants carrying mutable alleles of the antibiotic-resistant gene streptomycin phosphotransferase (SPT) and mapped the location of the transposed Ac (trAc) elements relative to the donor SPT gene. A comparison of the distributions of trAcs among the six loci revealed that, although the receptor sites for trAcs tend to be linked to the donor locus, the pattern of Ac transposition in tobacco displays surprising locus-to-locus variation. Some trAc distributions showed the same tight clustering around the donor locus previously seen in maize, whereas others were more dispersed. The possible meaning of these findings and their implication for transposon tagging in heterologous systems are discussed.

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