Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Mechanism of Ds1 excision from the genome of maize streak virus

  • 32 Accesses

  • 14 Citations


We have previously shown that the maize transposable element Ds1 introduced into maize plants by agroinfection can be excised from the genome of geminivirus maize streak virus (MSV). Excision depended strictly on the presence of an active Ac element in the plants. In this study, the excision products or “footprints” left in the MSV genome after Ds1 excision were extensively characterized and the effects of flanking sequences on Ds1 excision were analysed. Most types of footprints obtained were comparable to those described for Ds1 excision in the maize genome, and could be explained by the models proposed for excision of plant transposable elements. In two revertants, however, some terminal sequences of the Ds1 element were found to have been left behind at the excision site. The finding of this novel type of Ds1 footprint indicated that gene conversion events occurred during and/or after Ds1 excision from the MSV genome. A partial deletion of one copy of the 8 by duplications flanking the Ds1 element had no effect on the frequency or on the types of footprints of Ds1 excision from the MSV genome. Thus, the duplicated 8 by sequences flanking the transposable element are not involved in Ds1 excision. These results, as well as a statistical analysis of the modifications of the bases flanking the Ds1 element after excision, are discussed in terms of excision models.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Athma P, Peterson T (1991) Ac induces homologous recombination at the maize P locus. Genetics 128:163–173

  2. Britt AB, Walbot V (1991) Germinal and somatic products of Mul excision from the Bronze-1 gene of Zea mays. Mol Gen Genet 227:267–276

  3. Coen ES, Robbins TP, Almeida J, Hudson A, Carpenter R (1989) Consequences and mechanisms of transposition in Antirrhinum majus. In: Berg DE, Howe MM (eds) Mobile DNA. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC, pp 413–436

  4. Dennis ES, Gerlach WL, Peacock WJ, Schwartz D (1986) Excision of the Ds controlling element from the Adhl gene of maize. Maydica 31:47–57

  5. Dooner HK, English J, Ralston EJ (1988) The frequency of transposition of the maize element Activator is not affected by an adjacent deletion. Mol Gen Genet 211:485–491

  6. Döring HP, Starlinger P (1986) Molecular genetics of transposable elements in plants. Annu Rev Genet 20:175–200

  7. Doseff A, Martienssen R, Sundaresan V (1991) Somatic excision of the Mul transposable element of maize. Nucleic Acids Res 19:579–584

  8. Engels WR (1989) P elements in Drosophila. In: Berg DE, Howe MM (eds) Mobile DNA. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC, pp 437–484

  9. Engels WR, Johnson-Schlitz DM, Eggleston WB, Sved J (1990) High-frequency P element loss in Drosophila is homolog dependent. Cell 62:515–525

  10. Fedoroff NV (1989) Maize transposable elements. In: Berg DE, Howe MM (eds) Mobile DNA. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC, pp 375–411

  11. Gloor GB, Nassif NA, Johnson-Schlitz DM, Preston CR, Engels WR (1991) Targeted gene replacement in Drosophila via P element-induced gap repair. Science 253:1110–1116

  12. Grimsley N, Hohn T, Davies JW, Hohn B (1987) Agrobacterium-mediated delivery of infectious maize streak virus into maize plants. Nature 325:177–179

  13. Grimsley N, Ramos C, Hein T, Hohn B (1988) Meristematic tissues of maize plants are most susceptible to agroinfection with maize streak virus. Biotechnology 6:185–189

  14. Joshi CP (1987) Putative polyadenylation signals in nuclear genes of higher plants: A compilation and analysis. Nucleic Acids Res 15:9627–9640

  15. Moerman DG, Waterson RH (1989) Mobile elements in Caenorhabditis elegans and other nematodes. In: Berg DE, Howe MM (eds) Mobile DNA. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC, pp 537–556

  16. Mullineaux PM, Donson J, Morris-Krsinich BAM, Boulton MI, Davies JW (1984) The nucleotide sequence of maize streak virus DNA. EMBO J 3:3063–3068

  17. Peacock WJ, Dennis ES, Gerlach WL, Sachs MM, Schwartz D (1984) Insertion and excision of Ds controlling elements in maize. Cold Spring Harbor Symp Quant Biol 49:347–354

  18. Peterson T (1990) Intragenic transposition of Ac generates a new allele of the maize P gene. Genetics 126:469–476

  19. Plasterk RHA (1991) The origin of footprints of the Tcl transposon of Caenorhabditis elegans. EMBO J 10:1919–1925

  20. Saedler H, Nevers P (1985) Transposition in plants: a molecular model. EMBO J 4:585–590

  21. Sanfaçon H, Brodmann P, Hohn T (1991) A dissection of the cauliflower mosaic virus polyadenylation signal. Genes Dev 5:141–149

  22. Shen WH, Hohn B (1991) Mutational analysis of the small intergenic region of maize streak virus. Virology 183:721–730

  23. Shen WH, Hohn B (1992) Excision of a transposable element from a viral vector introduced into maize plants by agroinfection. Plant J 2:35–42

  24. Sutton WD, Gerlach WL, Schwartz D, Peacock WJ (1984) Molecular analysis of Ds controlling element mutations at the Adh1 locus of maize. Science 223:1265–1268

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Wen-Hui Shen.

Additional information

Communicated by H. Saedler

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Shen, W., Das, S. & Hohn, B. Mechanism of Ds1 excision from the genome of maize streak virus. Molec. Gen. Genet. 233, 388–394 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00265435

Download citation

Key words

  • Viral vector
  • Transposable element
  • Zea mays
  • Agroinfection