Molecular and General Genetics MGG

, Volume 251, Issue 2, pp 130–138 | Cite as

Rates of movement of transposable elements inDrosophila melanogaster

  • A. Domínguez
  • J. Albornoz
Original Paper


Mobilization rates of nine families of transposable elements (P, hobo, FB, gypsy, 412, copia, blood, 297, andjockey) were estimated by using 182 lines. Lines were started from a completely isogenic population ofDrosophila melanogaster, carrying the markersepia as an indicator of possible contamination, and have been accumulating spontaneous mutations independently for 80 generations of brother-sister (or two double-first-cousin) matings. Transposable element movements have been analyzed in complete genomes by the Southern technique. Mobilization was a rare event, with an average rate of 10−5 per site per generation. The most active element wasFB. In contrast, the retroelementsgypsy andblood did not move at all. Most changes in restriction patterns were consistent with rearrangements rather than with true transposition. The euchromatic or heterochromatic location of elements was tested by comparing insertion patterns from adults and salivary glands. Certain putative rearrangements involved heterochromatic copies of the retroelements412, copia or297. Clustering of movement across families was observed, suggesting that movement of different families may be non-independent. An association between modified insertion patterns and mutant effects on quantitative traits shows that spontaneous transposition events cause continuous variation.

Key words

Transposable elements Drosophila melanogaster Quantitative variation Population genetics 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Domínguez
    • 1
  • J. Albornoz
    • 1
  1. 1.Departmento de Biología Functional, Area de GenéticaUniversidad de OviedoOviedoSpain

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