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transposon numbers

Eric C. Liebl liebl at CC.DENISON.EDU
Thu Feb 18 15:48:11 EST 1999

Transposon aficionados:

        A number of genetics texts used for undergraduate courses cite the
fact that transposable elements make up about 10 to 15% of the Drosophila
genome, and that perhaps as much as 80% of spontaneous mutations in
Drosophila are caused by transposon mobilization.  I'm wondering if anybody
can point me to primary literature that could confirm these (to me)
startling statistics.

        Also, does anyone know if these numbers are "typical" - is the
human genome 10% transposons?  Are spontaneous human mutations often caused
by transposition?  I'm aware of reports of human transposon-mediated
mutations (Nature 332:164 for example), but how common is this mutagenesis
mechanism in humans?

Thanks in advance for any help, ERIC

Eric C. Liebl
Assistant Professor, Biology
Denison University
Granville, OH 43023
740-587-6414 (office)
740-587-6417 (fax)
liebl at denison.edu

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