Retrotransposons are a widely distributed group of eukaryotic mobile genetic elements that transpose through an RNA intermediate. The element Ty (Transposon yeast), found in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is a model system for the study of retrotransposons because of the experimental tools that exist to manipulate and detect transposition. Ty transposition can be elevated to levels exceeding one transposition event per cell when an element is expressed from an inducible yeast promoter. In addition, individual genomic Ty elements can be tagged with a retrotransposition indicator gene that allows transposition events occurring at a rate of 10(-5) to 10(-7) per element per cell division to be detected phenotypically. These systems are being used to elucidate the mechanism of Ty transposition and clarify how Ty transposition is controlled.