Worm Breeder's Gazette 9(2): 36

These abstracts should not be cited in bibliographies. Material contained herein should be treated as personal communication and should be cited as such only with the consent of the author.

Isolation of a Panagrellus Transposon

C. Link and W.B. Wood

We have isolated a novel transposable element, designated PAT, from 
Panagrellus redivivus strain C15.  (See W.B.G.  8[2]16 (1984); 8[3]92 (
1984); 1985 Meetings Abstracts, p.  83).  This was accomplished by 
cloning a mutated Panagrellus unc-22 gene from a spontaneous 
'twitcher' mutant thrown by the C15 strain.  The mutated gene contains 
a 4.8 kb insert of repetitive DNA.  In different Panagrellus strains 
this repetitive element differs in copy number (15-20 in the C15 
strain, ~10 in the PS strain) and location (assumed from Southern blot 
polymorphisms).  The element has no detectable homology to Tc1 or any 
other sequence in C. lso not homologous to 
the Panagrellus repetitive element we had previously isolated.  The 
PAT element contains terminal repeated sequences of <1 kb.  Most of 
the other genomic copies of the PAT element in the C15 strain have a 
similar structure, based on genomic Southern blots probed with PAT-
internal fragments.  We have narrowed the site of insertion of the 
cloned element to an 800 bp PstI fragment of the Panagrellus unc-22 
gene and are currently generating subclones to sequence the site of 
insertion and the termini of the PAT element.  We have also begun 
microinjecting the element into C.  elegans, but have not yet 
recovered a line containing PAT DNA.  Our unbridled speculation is 
that PAT may be a retroposon-like element, based on its size and 
structure.  These experiments also suggest that the unc-22 gene may be 
a generic 'transposon trap', and that other transposons could be 
recovered by isolating spontaneous twitcher mutants from other 
rhabditid strains or species, and then cloning the mutated gene by 
cross-homology with existing unc-22 clones.