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Structural analysis of Doc transposable elements associated with mutations at the white and suppressor of forked loci of Drosophila melanognster


DNA sequences from two spontaneous mutations of Drosophila melanogaster associated with insertion of a Doc transposable element have been cloned. In white-one, the element is inserted in the white locus close to where transcription initiates. In a lethal allele of suppressor of forked, su(f)S2, the element is inserted within the transcription unit in the protein coding region. Four other Doc elements have been cloned from a wild-type strain. Doc is a member of the class of transposable elements known as retroposons, which includes the D. melanogaster F, G, Jockey, and I elements. There is no sequence homology between the ends of the Doc element. The 3′ or right end terminates with a polyadenylation signal sequence followed by a stretch of oligo-A. The length of the oligo-A varies between elements, and a duplication of variable size is found as a direct repeat flanking inserted Doc elements. Members of the family are conserved at the 3′ end, but may be truncated at the 5′ or left end. These structural features suggest a mechanism of transposition via an RNA intermediate.

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Correspondence to Kevin O'Hare.

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Communicated by D.J. Finnegan

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Driver, A., Lacey, S.F., Cullingford, T.E. et al. Structural analysis of Doc transposable elements associated with mutations at the white and suppressor of forked loci of Drosophila melanognster . Molec. Gen. Genet. 220, 49–52 (1989).

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Key words

  • Transposable element
  • Mutation
  • Retroposon