A chromosome rearrangement suggests that donor and recipient sites are associated during Tam3 transposition in Antirrhinum majus

EMBO J. 1989 Jan;8(1):5-13.


We describe the structure of a chromosome rearrangement which changes the spatial pattern of expression of the pallida gene of Antirrhinum majus. The rearrangement involves a chromosome inversion of ~6 map units with one breakpoint at the end of a copy of the transposable element Tam3 located in the promoter region of the pallida locus. The sequence at the breakpoints shows that 5-7 bp, present once in the progenitor, has been duplicated and flanks both ends of the inversion. We propose that this structure arose from an aberrant Tam3 transposition, suggesting a model for normal transposition which involves physical association between donor and recipient sites. This may explain why transposition of plant transposable elements such as Ac in maize occurs preferentially to recipient sites closely linked to the donor site. Excision of the Tam3 copy located at the end of the chromosome inversion, results in a unique spatial pattern of pallida gene expression as a consequence of replacing all sequence 70 bp upstream of transcription by a new sequence. This pattern may be the result of deleting specific upstream components which regulate pallida expression and/or of changing the relative chromosome position of the pallida gene.