Comparative analysis of non-random DNA repair following Ac transposon excision in maize and Arabidopsis

Plant J. 1997 Dec;12(6):1419-27. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-313x.1997.12061419.x.


Ac/Ds transposable elements often leave short DNA rearrangements, or 'footprints,' at the sites where they excise. Previous studies at the maize waxy (wx) gene suggest that the DNA repair that forms transposon footprints is not random. Each excision site consistently displays a different, predominant repair product suggesting flanking DNA may influence footprint formation. We have expanded these studies to show that predominant end-joining products also form in association with Ac/Ds excision in Arabidopsis and that chromosomal location of the Ac-containing construct does not appear to influence this repair. The predominant repair product is identical in both maize and Arabidopsis for Ac elements with the same adjacent DNA sequences. However, a broader range of minor footprint types is observed in Arabidopsis, including footprints that are rare in maize, suggesting potential differences in the host proteins involved in either transposition, repair or both. The data also suggest that the sequences influencing footprint formation are within 39 bp 5' and 18 bp 3' of the transposon. These studies demonstrate that transgenic Ac/Ds-containing plants will be useful tools in dissecting plant DNA repair processes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • DNA Footprinting
  • DNA Repair*
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • DNA, Plant / chemistry
  • DNA, Plant / genetics
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Zea mays / genetics*


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA, Plant