Structure of hermes integrations in the germline of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti.
Jasinskiene N., Coates CJ., James AA.
The Hermes transposable element is derived from the house fly, Musca domestica, and can incorporate into the germline of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. Preliminary Southern analyses indicated that Hermes integrated along with the marker gene into the mosquito genomic DNA. Here we show that Hermes integrations are accompanied by the integration of the donor plasmid as well. In addition, breaks in the donor plasmid DNAs do not occur precisely, or at the end of the terminal inverted repeats, and are accompanied by small deletions in the plasmids. Furthermore, integrations do not cause the typical 8-bp duplications of the target site DNA. No integrations are observed in the absence of a source of Hermes transposase. The Hermes transposase clearly did not catalyse precise cut-and-paste transposition in these transformed lines. It may have integrated the transposon through general recombination or through a partial replicative transposition mechanism. The imprecision of Hermes integration may result from interactions of the transposase with an endogenous hAT-like element in the mosquito genome.