A novel transposon family was discovered in plants. This family, designated SoFT (Solanaceae Foldback Transposon), exhibit striking structural similarity to the 'foldback' class of animal transposons. SoFT elements consist of a middle segment surrounded by long terminal inverted repeats. Two of the identified SoFT elements have 'classical' foldback structure: their inverted repeats are divided into two domains. The outer domain consists of tandemly arranged subrepeats, whereas the inner domain is non-repetitive and AT-rich. The existence of foldback elements in plants as well as in animals suggests that long inverted repeat (foldback) transposons are ubiquitous among eukaryotes.