Hobo transposons causing chromosomal breakpoints

Proc Biol Sci. 1998 Jul 7;265(1402):1157-9. doi: 10.1098/rspb.1998.0412.


Several laboratory surveys have shown that transposable elements (TEs) can cause chromosomal breaks and lead to inversions, as in dysgenic crosses involving P-elements. However, it is not presently clear what causes inversions in natural populations of Drosophila. The only direct molecular studies must be taken as evidence against the involvement of mobile elements. Here, in Drosophila lines transformed with the hobo transposable element, and followed for 100 generations, we show the appearance of five different inversions with hobo inserts at breakpoints. Almost all breakpoints occurred in hobo insertion sites detected in previous generations. Therefore, it can be assumed that such elements are responsible for restructuring genomes in natural populations.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Aberrations / genetics*
  • Chromosome Inversion
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • In Situ Hybridization


  • DNA Transposable Elements