Re: hosta-open DIGEST V1 #488
>...my understanding is that transposable elements are specific pieces
>of DNA that move around the genome. They can take with them pieces
>of surrounding DNA and they can get respliced into the DNA inside a
>normal gene. Both of these events would easily be classified as
>permanent mutation (a permanent change in the DNA).
If the transposable elements can take pieces of DNA with them when
they move about then you might get a permanent mutation. However, you
should be able to detect this with classical Mendelian inheritance
studies. If you have a hosta sport that was a true mutation you
should be able to cross it to the original plant and show a clear cut
>I also remember (correct me if I am wrong) that the transposable
>elements can move to prescribed spots on the DNA, and then leave
This is what I am thinking is a possibility with hostas because you
see the same sports showing up. The question is, do all hostas
contain transposable elements, and if not can they be inherited? Are
transposable elements anything like viruses?
The genetics text book I used in the 60's doesn't mention transposable
elements and none on my professors in graduate school had much/any
experience with transposable elements, so I have to admit that my
personal experience with them is limited and I've been out of the
university setting for 20 years now. That is why I was hoping Ben
would educate all of us since he a geneticist and why I am defering to
him on this question. I'm not sure why Ben is relucent to give an
I'm still uncomfortable about equating transposable elements with
mutations in hostas the way Ben uses the term. The way hostas sport
is not classical mutations. I'm doing some studies along these lines,
but it is going to be quite some time yet before I have enough data to
figure out anything.
>I was hoping to get a better explanation from one of our geneticists
>or breeders who should be closer to this information.
This is something I am hoping Ben will provide a good explanation for
as he should be more up to date on this topic then any of us.
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