Structural analysis of Tpn1, a transposable element isolated from Japanese morning glory bearing variegated flowers
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The 6.4 kb transposable element Tpn1 belonging to the En/Spm family was found within one of the DFR (dihydroflavonol-4-reductase) genes for anthocyanin biosynthesis in a line of Japanese morning glory (Pharbitis nil) bearing variegated flowers. Sequencing of the Tpn1 element revealed that it is 6412 by long and carries 28-bp perfect terminal inverted repeats. Its subterminal repetitive regions, believed to be the cis-acting sequences for transposition, show striking structural features. Twenty-two copies of the 10-bp sequence motif GACAACGGTT can be found as direct or inverted repeats within 650 by of the 5′ end of the element, and 33 copies of the sequence motif lie within 800 by of the 3′ terminus. All these 22 copies of the sequence motif near the 5′ terminus and 30 copies in the 3′ terminal region are arranged as inverted repeats and 3–8 by AT-rich sequences are detected between these inverted repeats. In addition, four copies of 122-bp tandem repeats and six copies of 104-bp tandem repeats are present in the 5′ and 3′ subterminal repetitive regions, respectively. No large open reading frame characteristic of autonomous elements of the En/Spm family can be detected within the element. The results are discussed with respect to heritable changes in flower variegation in this line of Japanese morning glory.
Key wordsTransposable element Tpn1 structure Japanese morning glory En/Spm family Subterminal repetitive region
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