Molecular Characterization of Suppressor-Mutator (Spm)-Induced Mutations at the bronze-1 Locus in Maize: The bz-m13 Alleles

  • John W. Schiefelbein
  • Victor Raboy
  • Hwa-Yeong Kim
  • Oliver E. Nelson
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 47)


The bz-m13 allele of maize contains a defective Suppressor-mutator (dSpm) transposable element and gives rise to a variety of stable and unstable derivatives in the presence of an autonomous Suppressor-mutator (Spm) element. The dSpm-13 element of bz-m13 consists of 2,241 base pairs (bp) and is located within the second exon of the bronze-1 (bz) gene. A number of the stable derivatives, both functional and nonfunctional, derived from bz-m13 were characterized molecularly. Resu ts from genomic DNA blotting experiments indicate that the dSpm-13 element had excised from the locus in each stable derivative analyzed. The unstable derivatives bz-m13CS9 and bz-m13CS6 contain dSpm elements in the same position and orientation as the dSpm-13 element, but they differ in the length of the element. The dSpm-13CS9 element is 902 bp and arose via a deletion between two 5-bp direct repeats within the dSpm-13 element. The dSpm-13CS6 element is 2,239 bp and only differs from dSpm-13 by a 2-bp deletion at the end of one of the 13-bp terminal inverted repeats. The effect of these deletions on the frequency and timing of Spm-induced excision is discussed herein. In the absence of Spm, each of the bz-m13 alleles conditions a nonmutant phenotype despite the presence of the insertions in the second exon. The role of RNA splicing in this phenomenon and the recent finding of an acceptor splice site within the terminal inverted repeat are also discussed.


Transposable Element Terminal Inverted Repeat Acceptor Splice Site Stable Derivative Transposable Element Insertion 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • John W. Schiefelbein
    • 1
  • Victor Raboy
    • 1
  • Hwa-Yeong Kim
    • 1
  • Oliver E. Nelson
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of GeneticsUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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