Article

Genetica

, Volume 98, Issue 1, pp 33-41

First online:

Excision of the piggyBac transposable element in vitro is a precise event that is enhanced by the expression of its encoded transposase

  • Teresa A. ElickAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame
  • , Christopher A. BauserAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame
  • , M. J. FraserAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame

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Abstract

The piggyBac Lepidopteran transposable element moves from the cellular genome into infecting baculovirus genomes during passage of the virus in cultured TN-368 cells. We have constructed genetically tagged piggyBac elements that permit analysis of excision when transiently introduced on plasmids into the piggyBac-deficient Spodoptera frugiperda IPLB-SF21AE cell line. Precise excision of the element from these plasmids occurs at a higher frequency in the presence of a helper plasmid that presumably supplies the piggyBac transposase. The results suggest that the piggyBac transposon encodes a protein that functions to facilitate not only insertion, but precise excision as well. This is the first demonstration of piggyBac mobility from plasmid sources in uninfected Lepidopteran cells.

Key words

piggyBac Lepidopteran transposable element