Studies on the Mx transposable element system in maize recovered from X-irradiated stocks

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The unstable mutant bz-x3m arose in a plant subjected to X-irradiation. The element at the bronze locus is non-autonomous and recombination data indicate that an autonomous element is tightly linked. The autonomous element has been designated Mx (mobile element induced by X-rays) and the non-autonomous element, rMx (responder to Mx). Linkage data indicate that a second Mx lies near the end of the short arm of chromosome 9; in one plant, an Mx that is unlinked was detected. Distinguishing characteristics of bz-x3m are a large window of time in endosperm development during which somatic reversions can arise and a wide range in the frequency at which they occur; these features are heritable. With increasing doses of bz-x3m and Mx, the window expands and the frequency range increases. In kernels containing the bz-x3m allele and the tightly linked Mx, breakage occurs in chromosome 9 distal to the C locus, resulting in breakage-fusion-bridge patterns for endosperm markers that lie proximal to the break. The frequency of breaks and the developmental time at which they occur exhibit the same dosage effect as the somatic reversions of the bz-x3m allele. These observations suggest that an rMx (designated rMxBr) that causes chromosome breakage is positioned distal to the C locus. At the molecular level, the bz-x3m allele is associated with a 0.5 kb increase in fragment size in DNA samples digested with BglII, EcoRI, HindIII and PstI; in germinal revertants, the fragment size returns to that of the progenitor. © 1992 Springer-Verlag.

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MGG Molecular & General Genetics