A family of transposable elements (q.v.) found in many species of insects. The mariner element isolated from Drosophila mauritiana is short (1,286 base pairs), with 28-bp inverted repeats. Between the repeats is a gene that encodes a transposase of 345 amino acids. Mariner-like transposable elements (MLTEs) occur in Anopheles and show promise as vectors for inserting parasite-resistance genes into populations of mosquito species that transmit human diseases. MLTEs appear to have been passed horizontally by insects to other invertebrates and vertebrates. One example of a MLTE in humans is found between bands 11.2 and 12 on the short arm of chromosome 17. This region is also a recombination hot spot. See horizontal transmission, hot spot, malaria, Minos element, TC1/mariner element.
Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.