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Insect Mol Biol. 2003 Oct;12(5):433-40.

piggyBac-mediated germline transformation in the beetle Tribolium castaneum.

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Division of Biology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA.


The lepidopteran transposable element piggyBac can mediate germline insertions in at least four insect orders. It therefore shows promise as a broad-spectrum transformation vector, but applications such as enhancer trapping and transposon-tag mutagenesis are still lacking. We created, cloned, sequenced and genetically mapped a set of piggyBac insertions in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Transpositions were precise, and specifically targeted the canonical TTAA recognition sequence. We detected several novel reporter-expression domains, indicating that piggyBac could be used to identify enhancer regions. We also demonstrated that a primary insertion of a non-autonomous element can be efficiently remobilized to non-homologous chromosomes by injection of an immobile helper element into embryos harbouring the primary insertion. These developments suggest potential for more sophisticated methods of piggyBac-mediated genome manipulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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