0066-4294/92/0601 -0049$02.00 WALBOT McClintock recognized and analyzed the properties of the maize Ac and Spm families of transposable elements (TE) more than 40 years ago (reviewed in 25). Since then geneticists have capitalized on the mutable alleles created by TE insertion to explore many aspects of gene and chromosome behavior. With the advent of recombinant DNA technology, it was quickly recognized that transposon-induced mutants could be cloned because they were tagged by the TE insertion; that is, the sequences flanking the transposon insertion site are part of the gene of interest. Application of transposon tagging first required cloning TE, then using the TE as probes to clone the mutant alleles. This strategy was soon applied to facilitate gene cloning in Escherichia coli, Drosophila, and maize . Today, many plant biologists are interested in generating or using mutable alleles as an efficient means for cloning functional genes. This approach requires a mutant tagged with an insertion element, a clone of the relevant element, assays for verifying the clone(s) recovered, and a willingness to learn simple genetic techniques and apply rigorous genetic tests to each new mutant. Transposon-tagging was first applied in maize and snapdragon, species in which mutable alleles
Annual Review of Plant Biology – Annual Reviews
Published: Jun 1, 1992
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