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Dev Dyn. 2007 Jul;236(7):1758-67.

Germline transgenesis and insertional mutagenesis in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

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Shimoda Marine Research Center, University of Tsukuba, Shimoda, Shizuoka, Japan.


Stable transgenesis is a splendid technique that is applicable to the creation of useful marker lines, enhancer/gene traps, and insertional mutagenesis. Recently, transposon-mediated transformation using a Tc1/mariner transposable element Minos has been reported in two ascidians: Ciona intestinalis and C. savignyi. The transposon derived from an insect, Drosophila hydei, has high activity for excision in Ciona embryos and transposition in their genome. As much as 37% of Minos-injected C. intestinalis transmitted transposon insertions to the subsequent generation. Minos-mediated germline transgenesis has also been achieved by means of electroporation method. Minos techniques have been applied to enhancer traps and insertional mutagenesis in Ciona. For those reasons, Minos offers the high potential for use as a powerful tool for future genetic studies. This review specifically addresses recent achievements of transformation techniques in Ciona, as exemplified using the Minos system.

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