2014 Volume 64 Issue 2 Pages 109-114
Though transposable elements (TEs) have been considered as an efficient source of evolution, it has never been possible to test this hypothesis because most of TE insertions had occurred millions of years ago, or because currently active TEs have very few copies in a host genome. However, mPing, the first active DNA transposon in rice, was revealed to hold a key to answer this question. mPing has attained high copy numbers and still retained very high activity in a traditional rice strain, which enabled direct observation of behavior and impact of a bursting TE. A comprehensive analysis of mPing insertion sites has revealed it avoids exons but prefers promoter regions and thus moderately affects transcription of neighboring genes. Some of the mPing insertions have introduced possibly useful expression profile to adjacent genes that indicated TE’s potential in de novo formation of gene regulatory network.