A copia-like transposable element family in Arabidopsis thaliana

Nature. 1988 Nov 17;336(6196):242-4. doi: 10.1038/336242a0.


The fast generation time, small genome size and extensive genetic map of the crucifer Arabidopsis thaliana have made it the subject of an increasing number of studies in plant molecular genetics. As transposable elements have greatly facilitated genetic analysis in a variety of species, we have attempted to identify an endogenous A. thaliana transposable element. We report here the discovery of a family of such elements, which we refer to as Ta1 elements. Sequence analysis of one such element shows that it is closely related to retrotransposons and integrated retroviral proviruses, being bound by a direct sequence repeat and having an open reading frame with clear sequence similarity to the polyprotein of the Drosophila melanogaster retrotransposon copia. The sequence of an empty target site of a Ta1 element shows that insertion is accompanied by a five-base-pair target-site duplication and that Ta1 has transposed in the period of time since divergence of two races of A. thaliana.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Probes
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Plants / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Retroviridae / genetics


  • DNA Probes
  • DNA Transposable Elements

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X13291