A retrotransposon from the fungal plant pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici has been isolated and characterized. The element, designated skippy (skp) is 7846 bp in length, flanked by identical long terminal repeats (LTR) of 429 bp showing structural features characteristic of retroviral and retrotransposon LTRs. Target-site duplications of 5 bp were found. Two long overlapping open reading frames (ORF) were identified. The first ORF, 2562 bp in length, shows homology to retroviral gag genes. The second ORF, 3888 bp in length, has homology to the protease, reverse transcriptase. RNase H and integrase domains of retroelement pol genes in that order. Sequence comparisons and the order of the predicted proteins from skippy indicate that the element is closely related to the gypsy family of LTR-retrotransposons. The element is present in similar copy numbers in the two races investigated, although RFLP analysis showed differences in banding patterns. The number of LTR sequences present in the genome is higher than the number of copies of complete elements, indicating excision by homologous recombination between LTR sequences.