The Mutator Transposable Element System of Maize

Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 204)


The Mutator trait was first identified by Robertson as a heritable high forward-mutation rate exhibited by lines derived from a single maize stock (Robertson 1978). Many of these de novo mutations exhibited somatic instability, primarily apparent reversion to wild type. This instability, or mutability, was suggestive of the transposable element-induced mutations that had first been carefully characterized by McClintock (1948, 1949) in maize. Subsequent molecular studies confirmed this similarity, with the eventual cloning of Mu transposable elements from mutant loci generated in Mutator stocks (Bennetzen et al. 1984; Taylor and Walbot 1987; Oishi and Freeling 1988; Fleenor et al. 1990; Hershberger et al. 1991).


Transposable Element Mutator Activity Mutator Element Mutator Stock Ectopic Pairing 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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