Excision of the piggyBac transposable element in vitro is a precise event that is enhanced by the expression of its encoded transposase
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- Elick, T.A., Bauser, C.A. & Fraser, M.J. Genetica (1996) 98: 33. doi:10.1007/BF00120216
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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.