, Volume 258, Issue 6, pp 599-607

Tfo1: an Ac -like transposon from the plant pathogenic fungus Fusarium oxysporum

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Abstract

A transposable element from a plant pathogenic fungus, Fusarium oxysporum, was isolated and characterized. Four clones carrying moderately repetitive DNA were selected from a genomic library of the strain MAFF305118 of F. oxysporum f. sp. lagenariae, which causes wilt of bottle gourd. One the four clones was found to include a transposable element, which we have named Tfo1. This element is 2763 bp in size and appears to contain a long ORF that can encode a polypeptide of 777 amino acids. The amino acid sequence shows significant similarity to transposases from the hAT family of transposons, such as the maize transposon Activator (Ac). The element has 15-bp terminal inverted repeats and causes an 8-bp target site duplication upon insertion, as expected for an hAT-family transposon. Northern analysis detected a transcript, which hybridized to the putative transposase-encoding region of Tfo1. The size of this transcript (about 2.3 kb) corresponds to that of the ORF. A Southern analysis using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis showed that multiple chromosomal bands carry Tfo1 elements. PCR amplification of the Tfo1 elements with a 15-base inverted repeat primer produced a single DNA fragment of about 2.8 kb in all bottle gourd-infecting strains used. The element was found in multiple copies in the genome of all these strains and also in strains from other formae speciales tested. The sequence similarity of the Tfo1 element to other transposons, together with its transcriptional expression and genomic distribution, strongly suggests that Tfo1 is a member of the hAT transposon family.

Received: 2 January 1998 / Accepted: 20 March 1998