Research Articles

Targeted gene replacement in Drosophila via P element-induced gap repair

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Science  06 Sep 1991:
Vol. 253, Issue 5024, pp. 1110-1117
DOI: 10.1126/science.1653452


Transposable elements of the P family in Drosophila are thought to transpose by a cut-and-paste process that leaves a double-strand gap. The repair of such gaps resulted in the transfer of up to several kilobase pairs of information from a homologous template sequence to the site of P element excision by a process similar to gene conversion. The template was an in vitro-modified sequence that was tested at various genomic positions. Characterization of 123 conversion tracts provided a detailed description of their length and distribution. Most events were continuous conversion tracts that overlapped the P insertion site without concomitant conversion of the template. The average conversion tract was 1379 base pairs, and the distribution of tract lengths fit a simple model of gap enlargement. The conversion events occurred at sufficiently high frequencies to form the basis of an efficient means of directed gene replacement.

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