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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Apr 28;95(9):5182-6.

Transposition of the mariner element from Drosophila mauritiana in zebrafish.

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  • 1Department of Zoology and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA.


With the increased popularity of zebrafish (Danio rerio) for mutagenesis studies, efficient methods for manipulation of its genome are needed. One approach is the use of a transposable element as a vector for gene transfer in this species. We report here the transformation of zebrafish and germ-line transmission of the mariner element from Drosophila mauritiana. The mariner element was selected because its transposition is independent of host-specific factors. One- to two-cell-stage zebrafish embryos were coinjected with a supercoiled plasmid carrying the nonautonomous mariner element peach and mRNA encoding the transposase. Surviving larvae were reared to adulthood, and the transmission of peach to the F1 generation was tested by PCR. Four of the 12 founders, following plasmid injections on 2 different days, transmitted the element to their progeny. Inheritance of the transgene from the F1 to the F2 generation showed a Mendelian pattern. No plasmid sequences were detected by PCR or Southern blot analysis, indicating transposition of peach rather than random integration of the plasmid DNA. These data provide evidence of transformation of a vertebrate with a transposable element and support the host-independent mechanism for transposition of the mariner element. We suggest this system could be used for insertional mutagenesis or for identifying active regions of the genome in the zebrafish.

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