Preferential transposition of Drosophila P elements to nearby chromosomal sites

Genetics. 1993 Feb;133(2):347-59.


Two different schemes were used to demonstrate that Drosophila P elements preferentially transpose into genomic regions close to their starting sites. A starting element with weak rosy+ marker gene expression was mobilized from its location in the subtelomeric region of the 1,300-kb Dp1187 minichromosome. Among progeny lines with altered rosy+ expression, a much higher than expected frequency contained new insertions on Dp1187. Terminal deficiencies were also recovered frequently. In a second screen, a rosy(+)-marked element causing a lethal mutation of the cactus gene was mobilized in male and female germlines, and viable revertant chromosomes were recovered that still contained a rosy+ gene due to an intrachromosomal transposition. New transpositions recovered using both methods were mapped between 0 and 128 kb from the starting site. Our results suggested that some mechanism elevates the frequency 43-67-fold with which a P element inserts near its starting site. Local transposition is likely to be useful for enhancing the rate of insertional mutation within predetermined regions of the genome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes*
  • DNA Transposable Elements* / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genes, Lethal
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Sequence Deletion


  • DNA Transposable Elements