Transitory cis complementation: a method for providing transposition functions to defective transposons.

K. T. Hughes, J. R. Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


A genetic complementation system is described in which the complementing components are close together in a single linear DNA fragment; the complementation situation is temporary. This system is useful for providing transposition functions to transposition-defective transposons, since transposition functions act preferentially in cis. The basic procedure involves placing a transposition-defective transposon near the gene(s) for its transposition functions on a single DNA fragment. This fragment is introduced, here by general transduction, into a new host. The transposase acts in cis to permit the defective element to transpose from the introduced fragment into the recipient chromosome. The helper genes do not transpose and are lost by degradation and segregation. The method yields single insertion mutants that lack transposase and are not subject to further transposition or chromosome rearrangement. The general procedure is applicable to other sorts of transposable elements and could be modified for use in other genetic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-12
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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