Submitted to: Journal of Heredity
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/20/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Transposabl elements are units of genetic material which can insert into the genes of animals or plants, and which can move, or transpose, on chromosomes. They are useful tools for studying the genetic makeup of a species or for introducing new genes. Such research has been limited to a few well studied species and needs to be developed for other systems of medical and agricultural importance. We have identified and characterized such an element in the Hessian fly, MAYETIOLA DESTRUCTOR, and hope to use it as a means towards understanding the relationship of this fly with its host plant, wheat. Advances in our knowledge of the genetic factors involved in wheat/Hessian fly interactions are critical for the control of this important agronomic pest to ensure sustainable crop protection.
Technical Abstract: Transposable generic elements, or transposons, are thought to be a feature of all eukaryotic genomes. They can serve as tools in molecular genetics, as vectors in gene-transfer systems and as mutagenic agents for isolation of genes. Until recently their identification has been primarily limited to a few organisms which have been intensively subjected to generic or molecular study. The object of our investigation is the Hessian fly, MAYETIOLA DESTRUCTOR (Say), an agriculturally important pest of wheat in the United States. We have recovered and sequenced a full length MARINER transposon from a genomic library we prepared from M. DESTRUCTOR. This MARINER element has a high degree of similarity (70%) to the MARINER element described in DROSOPHILA MAURITIANA, an element which has been successfully used as a tool in genetic manipulation. We are currently assessing the biological activity of the MARINER from the Hessian fly and hope to develop this mobile element for gene transfer.