Studies on Transposable Element Ac of ZeaMays

  • Peter Starlinger
  • Barbara Baker
  • George Coupland
  • Reinhard Kunze
  • Jürgen Laufs
  • Jeff Schell
  • Ursula Stochaj
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 47)


Transposable element Activator (Ac) of Zea Mays and several of its derivatives, called Dissociation (Ds), have been identified and studied both genetically and physiologically by B. McClintock (17,18). Ac has been cloned and sequenced (3,10,21,22), as have several Ds elements (4,5,11, 19,22,26).

For understanding transposition of Ac, both the transposition mechanism and its regulation must be studied. From the genetic experiments by McClintock (17), it is known that at least some of the functions necessary for transposition are encoded by Ac. Transposition of both Ac and Ds elements is linked to the presence of the Ac element, and no mutants in other loci are known to abolish this process. In addition, an Ac-dependent regulation of transposition is indicated by the fact that an increase in the dosage of Ac decreases the frequency of transposition events, and delays them to later times during endosperm development (15).

In order to study transposition and its regulation, we have investigated transcription of the Ac element and have begun studies of its translation (13). We have also introduced mutations into the cloned Ac element in order to test their influence on biological functions. Because efficiently reintroducing the Ac element into Zea Mays is not yet possible, we made use of transferring Ac into tobacco via the Ti-plasmid of Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Baker et al. (1) have shown that Ac is able to transpose in tobacco. A phenotypic assay for the excision of Ac from its position in the T-DNA has been established by Baker et al. (Ref. 2, and this Volume), and was used for these experiments.


Transposable Element Inverted Repeat Leader Sequence NPTII Gene Trypanosoma Brucei 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Starlinger
    • 1
  • Barbara Baker
    • 2
  • George Coupland
    • 1
  • Reinhard Kunze
    • 1
  • Jürgen Laufs
    • 1
  • Jeff Schell
    • 3
  • Ursula Stochaj
    • 4
  1. 1.Institut für GenetikUniversitat zu KölnKöln 41Federal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.United States Department of AgricultureARS Plant Gene Expression CenterAlbanyUSA
  3. 3.MPI für ZüchtungsforschungKöln 30Federal Republic of Germany
  4. 4.Institut für AnatomieUniversität MarburgMarburgFederal Republic of Germany

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