Transposable Genetic Elements - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics

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Early Evidence

Barbara McClintock originally theorized that unusual patterns of phenotypic variance (in corn kernels) could be explained by gene transposition. However, this explanation did not coincide with traditional Mendelian inheritance that genetic information was fixed within the genome, and her views were not widely accepted within the scientific community until the 1960s, when evidence of transposition began to accumulate.

McClintock was a cytogeneticist working on maize. She noted that, in maize, there was a pigment-bearing layer of the kernel, called the aleurone layer, that changed color from kernel to kernel and generation to generation. She also noted a baffling result that occurred when a homozygous plant for purple aleurone (CC) was crossed with a colorless aleurone homozygote (cc). About one-half of the kernels of offspring corn were solid purple, and one-half were purple with varying sizes of colorless spots, suggesting breakage (and loss) of the C...

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This section contains 1,821 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Transposable Genetic Elements Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Genetics
Transposable Genetic Elements from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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