, Volume 140, Issue 7–9, pp 375–392 | Cite as

General survey of hAT transposon superfamily with highlight on hobo element in Drosophila

  • Véronique Ladevèze
  • Nicole Chaminade
  • Françoise Lemeunier
  • Georges Periquet
  • Sylvie Aulard


The hAT transposons, very abundant in all kingdoms, have a common evolutionary origin probably predating the plant-fungi-animal divergence. In this paper we present their general characteristics. Members of this superfamily belong to Class II transposable elements. hAT elements share transposase, short terminal inverted repeats and eight base-pairs duplication of genomic target. We focus on hAT elements in Drosophila, especially hobo. Its distribution, dynamics and impact on genome restructuring in laboratory strains as well as in natural populations are reported. Finally, the evolutionary history of hAT elements, their domestication and use as transgenic tools are discussed.


Hobo hAT transposons Evolution Transgenic tools Horizontal transfer Domestication 



European Drosophila Genome Project


Gonadal dystrophy


Horizontal transfer


Long interspersed element


Long terminal repeat


Open reading frame


Short interspersed element


Transposable element


Terminal inverted repeat




Threonine, proline, glutamic acid


Target site duplication


Variable, diverse, joining



The authors wish to thank Christian Biémont for helpful comments and discussion. Thanks are also due to anonymous referees for their comments. This work was partially supported by grants from GDR 2157 and GDR 3047 (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Véronique Ladevèze
    • 1
  • Nicole Chaminade
    • 2
    • 3
  • Françoise Lemeunier
    • 2
    • 3
  • Georges Periquet
    • 4
  • Sylvie Aulard
    • 2
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.UMR 6187 CNRS, Institut de Physiologie et Biologie CellulairesUniversité de PoitiersPoitiers CedexFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire Evolution, Génomes et SpéciationUPR 9034 CNRSGif-sur-Yvette CedexFrance
  3. 3.Université Paris-SudOrsay CedexFrance
  4. 4.UMR CNRS 7261Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Institut de Recherche sur la Biologie de l’InsecteToursFrance
  5. 5.Université Pierre et Marie CurieParis Cedex 05France

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