Nested insertions of short mobile sequences in DrosophilaP elements
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A potentially full-sized P element isolated from the genome of Drosophila ambigua by polymerase chain reaction amplification was completely sequenced. It has a length of 3329 bp and the termini are formed by 33 bp inverted repeats. Sequence comparisons show that it can be classified as a member of the T-type P element subfamily. The translational reading frames of all four exons are interrupted by stop codons and frameshift mutations. At the 3′ end of exon 3 a 687 bp insertion sequence (IS-amb-P) is found that also occurs in the form of dispersed copies (IS-amb) in the genome in D. ambigua. At the interspecific level it shows homology to mobile sequences of other species of the obscura group. Although variable in length, these IS elements are characterized by conserved sections without coding function and by 14 bp inverted repeats, one at a terminal, the other at a subterminal position. In situ hybridization revealed that P elements in D. ambigua are restricted to only two euchromatic sites on chromosome elements A and E. This situation resembles that found in Drosophila guanche and Drosophila subobscura where P homologs are clustered at a single site on chromosome element E and where the section corresponding to exon 3 of P elements carries an IS element. The gene sik-hom, which is located at the 5′ side of the D. guanche cluster of P homologs, was used as a marker to examine whether the P element sites on chromosome element E of D. guanche and D. ambigua are homologous. The results suggest that the nested insertions of IS elements into P elements must have occurred independently in the two different lineages.
KeywordsCodon Stop Codon Polymerase Chain Reaction Amplification Frameshift Mutation Insertion Sequence
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