Richardson, Aaron O. Department of Plant Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.
Last reviewed:April 2018
Show previous versions
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Genetic elements capable of moving to a new chromosomal location, either directly as DNA in the case of DNA transposons or through an RNA intermediate in the case of retrotransposons. Transposable elements are mobile genetic elements and are capable of moving from one position to another in the genome (Fig. 1). Depending on the exact mechanism, transposable elements can change positions within the same chromosome or they can move to a different chromosome. Transposable elements are found in almost all genomes so far examined, including those of animals, plants, fungi, protists, and bacteria; in some cases, they can occupy the majority of the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of an organism (for example, more than 80% of the maize genome). They were first discovered by Nobel Laureate Barbara McClintock in the 1940s as part of her work on the genetics of corn. Transposable elements are very diverse, including tens of thousands of described families and certainly many more still to be discovered. Some transposable elements are present in hundreds of thousands of copies per genome, whereas others persist in a single copy; the elements themselves range in length from less than 100 nucleotides to more than 10,000. See also: Chromosome; Corn; Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA); Genetics; Genomics; Nucleotide; Ribonucleic acid (RNA); Transposable elements in plants
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information