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.
We have isolated a novel transposable element, designated PAT, from Panagrellus redivivus strain C15. (See W.B.G. 816 (1984); 892 ( 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.