Transposition and Rearrangements in Plasmid Evolution

  • C. J. Muster
  • L. A. MacHattie
  • J. A. Shapiro


Transposable elements participate in two classes of replicative recombination events: (i) full transposition; and (ii) genome rearrangements. Transpositions mobilize DNA sequences internal to the transposable element, while rearrangements also mobilize sequences external to the transposable element. We will illustrate several ways in which rearrangements mediated by IS1 and mutant Tnl elements lead to the formation of new plasmid replicons. The effect of the Tnl/Tn3 tnpR + gene product leads to dissolution of new replicons formed by Tnl-mediated rearrangements. Replicons formed by IS1-mediated rearrangements are much more stable. This result indicates that IS1 employs a different pathway to full transposition. Thus, there are at least two classes of transposable elements in bacteria which play different roles in plasmid evolution.


Transposable Element Cold Spring Harbor Genome Rearrangement Chloramphenicol Acetyl Transferase Plasmid Replicon 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. J. Muster
    • 1
  • L. A. MacHattie
    • 1
  • J. A. Shapiro
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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