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BS a novel LINE-like element in Drosophila melanogaster.

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Abstract

Transposable elements with long terminal inverted repeats are rare and only one family of elements of this sort has been identified in the genome of Drosophila melanogaster. An insertion associated with the HSBS mutation of the achaete-scute complex has been reported to be a second element of this type. We have determined the complete sequence of this insertion and have shown that it is in fact two copies of a new LINE-like transposable element, that we have called BS, inserted in opposite orientation 337 bp apart. Like other elements of this type, BS has two open reading frames that appear to encode a gag-like polypeptide and a reverse transcriptase. There are few complete BS elements in the five strains of D.melanogaster that we have tested and they appear to transpose infrequently. The events that may have lead to the double BS insertion are discussed in terms of the supposed mechanism of transposition of LINE-like elements.

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