Mobility of the maize transposable element En/Spm in Arabidopsis thaliana

Plant J. 1993 Jun;3(6):773-84.


The autonomous element En-1 of the maize En/Spm transposable element system is capable of frequent somatic and germinal excision in the heterologous host Arabidopsis thaliana. The pattern of En-homologous transcripts generated in transgenic Arabidopsis resembles En transcription in maize. An excision reporter construct based on NPT-II gene (pKEn2) can be used reliably for the isolation of En-1 germinal revertants by seed germination on kanamycin-containing medium. Re-insertion after germinal excision is apparently frequent. A dSpm receptor element can be efficiently trans-activated in Arabidopsis either by En-1 or by expressing cDNAs of tnpA and tnpD. Excision and re-insertion of En/Spm take place with similar characteristics as in maize. This is the first description of En/Spm transposition in Arabidopsis and the parameters analysed here suggest that transposon tagging with En should be feasible in this species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • Kanamycin / pharmacology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phenotype
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Transformation, Genetic
  • Zea mays / genetics*


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Kanamycin
  • DNA