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PpPIF-1: first isolated full-length PIF-like element from the bamboo Phyllostachys pubescens

Author(s): M.B. Zhou, X.M. Liu and D.Q. Tang

PIF-like elements are the first-described members of a recently discovered and widespread superfamily of DNA transposons, named PIF/Harbinger. Complete and partial PIF-like elements have been isolated from hundreds of plant species. Previously, we identified 139 partial PIF-like transposases in the Bambusoideae, of which three were from the bamboo species Phyllostachys pubescens. Here we report identification and isolation of the first full-length PIF-like element (PpPIF-1) from P. pubescens; identification was made by chromosome walking, based on a modified magnetic enrichment procedure that allows efficient cloning of flanking sequences up to 3 kb in length. PpPIF-1 is 5953 bp in length, with 20-bp imperfect inverted terminal repeats and 3-bp target site duplications. This element contains two open reading frames, one encoding a putative transposase, including the complete DDE-domain typical of PIF/Harbinger elements from plants, and the other encoding a DNA-binding protein. There are seven termination codons and two frameshift mutations in the open reading frames, probably due to vertical inactivation.