Components of the Uq and Ac transposable element systems interact. A large sample of Ds-containing and ruq-containing alleles were tested against Uq and Ac. The Uq elements elicit a mutable response from only one of the classes of Ds elements (Ds1) in the Ac family. This response is similar to the response from ruq to Uq. In contrast, Ac elicits mutable responses from all Ds and ruq elements tested. This represents a lack of reciprocity of interaction for the components of the two elements, Ac and Uq. Further, two atypical Ac and Uq elements (Ac2 and Uq-Mn) were examined. All ruq and Ds elements tested respond to four doses of Ac2. (Responses to lower doses were not compared.) Only the ruq (Ds1) containing alleles respond to Uq-Mn. The other Ds containing alleles were nonresponsive. The finding of nonreciprocating interaction between components suggests a heterogeneous nature for transposable element systems in maize.