Transposition of Ac in Tobacco

  • Barbara Baker
  • George Coupland
  • Reinhard Hehl
  • Nina Fedoroff
  • Horst Lörz
  • Peter Czernilofsky
  • Peter Starlinger
  • Jeff Schell
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 47)


The maize transposable element Activator (Ac) was first identified and studied genetically by Barbara McClintock (15; for review, see Ref. 9). The Ac element is capable of transposing autonomously, and it can also trans-activate the transposition of a group of elements collectively designated Dissociation (Ds) elements. Ac and Ds elements comprise a maize transposon family. Many elements of this family have been cloned and subjected to structural analysis (3,6,10). The Ac element is a small, 4.6-kilobase (kb) transposon that has an 11-base-pair (bp) terminal inverted repetition and generates an 8-bp duplication upon insertion. Sequence analysis of the element has revealed the presence of three major open reading frames (ORFs) (16,19). Recently, an RNA transcript of 3.5 kb was identified and found exclusively in maize lines that carried an active Ac (13). Overlapping cDNA clones spanning most of the mRNA were sequenced. The transcript contains a 600–700 nucleotide long untranslated leader, an open reading frame encoding 807 amino acids, and an untranslated 3′ sequence of 239 nucleotides. Four introns with a combined length of 654 bases are removed from the primary transcript.


Callus Line Restriction Enzyme Fragment Major Open Reading Frame BamHI Restriction Enzyme Site Progenitor Plant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Baker, B., J. Schell, H. Lörz, and N. Fedoroff (1986) Transposition of the maize controlling element “Activator” in tobacco. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., USA 83:4844–4848.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Baker, B., G. Coupland, N. Fedoroff, P. Starlinger, and J. Schell (1987) Phenotypic assay for excision of the maize controlling element Ac in tobacco. EMBO J. 6:1547–1554.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Behrens, U., N. Fedoroff, A. Laird, M. Müller-Neumann, P. Starlinger, and J. Yoder (1984) Cloning of the Zea mays controlling element Ac from the wx-m7 allele. Molec. Gen. Genet. 194:346–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cone, K.C., F.A. Burr, and B. Burr (1986) Molecular analysis of the maize anthocyanin regulatory locus C1. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., USA 83:9631–9635.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Czernilofsky, A.P., R. Hain, B. Baker, and U. Wirtz (1986) Studies of the structure and functional organization of foreign DNA integrated into the genome of Nicotiana tabacum DNA 5:473–482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Döring, H.P., E. Tillmann, and P. Starlinger (1984) DNA sequence of the maize transposable element Dissociation. Nature 307:127–130.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Döring, H.P., and P. Starlinger (1984) Barbara McClintock’s controlling elements: Now at the DNA level. Cell 35:253–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Döring, H.P., and P. Starlinger (1986) Molecular genetics of transposable elements in plants. An. Rev. Genet. 20:175–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fedoroff, N.V. (1983) Controlling elements in maize. In Mobile Genetic Elements, J.A. Shapiro, ed. Academic Press, New York, pp. 1–63.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fedoroff, N.V., S. Wessler, and M. Shure (1983) Isolation of the transposable maize controlling elements Ac and Ds. Cell 35:235–242.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Fedoroff, N., D.B. Furtek, and O.E. Nelson, Jr. (1984) Cloning of the bronze locus in maize by a simple and generalizable procedure using the transposable controlling element Activator (Ac). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., USA 81:3825–3829.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Klösgen, R.B., A. Gierl, Zs. Schwarz-Sommer, and H. Saedler (1986) Molecular analysis of the waxy locus of Zea mays. Molec. Gen. Genet. 203:237–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kunze, R., U. Stochaj, J. Laufs, and P. Starlinger (1987) Transcription of transposable element Activator (Ac) of Zea mays L. EMBO J. 6:1555–1563.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Martin, C., R. Carpenter, H. Sommer, H. Saedler, and E.S. Coen (1985) Molecular analysis of instability in flower pigmentation of Antirrhinum majus, following isolation of the pallid a locus by transposon tagging. EMBO J. 7:1625–1630.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    McClintock, B. (1951) Chromosome organization and genic expression. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology 16:13–47.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Müller-Neumann, M., Y.I. Yoder, and P. Starlinger (1984) The DNA sequence of the transposable element Ac of Zea mays L. Molec. Gen. Genet. 198:19–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    O’Reilly, C., N.S. Shepherd, A. Pereira, Zs. Schwarz-Sommer, I. Bertram, D.S. Robertson, P.A. Peterson, and H. Saedler (1985) Molecular cloning of the al locus of Zea mays using the transposable elements En and Mu1. EMBO J. 4:877–882.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Paz-Ares, J., U. Wienand, P.A. Peterson, and H. Saedler (1986) Molecular cloning of the C locus of Zea mays: A locus regulating the anthocyanin pathway. EMBO J. 5:829–833.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Pohlman, R.F., N.V. Fedoroff, and J. Messing (1984) The nucleotide sequence of the maize controlling element Activator. Cell 37:635–643.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Sachs, M.M., W.J. Peacock, E.S. Dennis, and W.L. Gerlach (1983) Maize Ac/Ds controlling elements. A molecular viewpoint. Maydica 28:289–302.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Saedler, H., and P. Nevers (1985) Transposition in plants: A molecular model. EMBO J. 4:585–590.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Schwarz-Sommer, Zs., A. Gierl, H. Cuypers, P.A. Peterson, and H. Saedler (1985) Plant transposable elements generate the DNA sequence diversity needed in evolution. EMBO J. 4:591–597.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Veiten, J., L. Veiten, R. Hain, and J. Schell (1984) Isolation of a dual plant promoter fragment from the Ti plasmid of Agrobacterium tumefaciens. EMBO J. 3:2723–2730.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Wienand, U., U. Weydemann, U. Niesbach-Klösgen, P.A. Peterson, and H. Saedler (1986) Molecular cloning of the C2 locus of Zea mays, the gene coding for chalcone synthase. Molec. Gen. Genet. 203:202–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Baker
    • 1
  • George Coupland
    • 2
  • Reinhard Hehl
    • 1
  • Nina Fedoroff
    • 3
  • Horst Lörz
    • 4
  • Peter Czernilofsky
    • 5
  • Peter Starlinger
    • 2
  • Jeff Schell
    • 4
  1. 1.Plant Gene Expression CenterU. S. Department of AgricultureAlbanyUSA
  2. 2.Institut für GenetikUniversitat zu KölnKöln 41Federal Republic of Germany
  3. 3.Department of EmbryologyCarnegie Institution of WashingtonBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Max-Planck-Institut für ZüchtungsforschungKöln 30Federal Republic of Germany
  5. 5.California Biotechnology, Inc.Mountain ViewUSA

Personalised recommendations