Engels, William R. Department of Genetics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.
- Transposable elements and transposition
- Transposon activation in hybrids
- P element use in biotechnology
- Origin of P elements
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A syndrome of abnormal traits arising from the mobilization of a family of transposable genetic elements. This mobilization occurs in the hybrid offspring of certain crosses. The traits include partial sterility, greatly increased mutation rates, and chromosome rearrangements. They occur when specific families of transposable elements that are normally quiescent parts of the chromosomes acquire elevated rates of transposition (jumping to new locations in the genome) and excision (removal from a genomic position) in the reproductive cells of the hybrid offspring. Hybrid dysgenesis has been studied primarily in insects, especially Drosophila melanogaster, but similar phenomena are thought to occur in other groups. The P elements, which constitute one family of dysgenesis-causing transposable elements, have been especially well studied and are widely used in the genetic manipulation of Drosophila. See also: Chromosome; Gene; Genetics; Mutation; Transposable elements
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