Mobile genetic elements
Mobile genetic elements (MGE) are a type of DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

 that can move around within the genome
In modern molecular biology and genetics, the genome is the entirety of an organism's hereditary information. It is encoded either in DNA or, for many types of virus, in RNA. The genome includes both the genes and the non-coding sequences of the DNA/RNA....

. They include:
  • Transposon
    Transposable elements are sequences of DNA that can move or transpose themselves to new positions within the genome of a single cell. The mechanism of transposition can be either "copy and paste" or "cut and paste". Transposition can create phenotypically significant mutations and alter the cell's...

    s (also called transposable elements)
    • Retrotransposons
    • DNA transposons
    • Insertion sequences
  • Plasmids
  • Bacteriophage
    A bacteriophage is any one of a number of viruses that infect bacteria. They do this by injecting genetic material, which they carry enclosed in an outer protein capsid...

     elements, like Mu
    Mu phage
    Bacteriophage Mu or phage Mu is a temperate bacteriophage, a type of virus that infects bacteria.-Replication:It uses DNA-based transposition to integrate its genome into the genome of the host cell that it is infecting. It can then use transposition to initiate its viral DNA replication...

    , which integrates randomly into the genome
  • Group II intron
    Group II intron
    Group II introns are a large class of self-catalytic ribozymes as well as mobile genetic element found within the genes of all three domains of life. Ribozyme activity can occur under high-salt conditions in vitro. However, assistance from proteins is required for in vivo splicing...


The total of all mobile genetic elements in a genome may be referred to as the mobilome
The mobilome is the total of all mobile genetic elements in a genome. Elements that can move within the genome are the major constituents of the mobilome in eukaryotes. In prokaryotes, however, mobile genetic elements that can move between genomes, like prophages and plasmids, are also an...


Barbara McClintock
Barbara McClintock
Barbara McClintock , the 1983 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, was an American scientist and one of the world's most distinguished cytogeneticists. McClintock received her PhD in botany from Cornell University in 1927, where she was a leader in the development of maize cytogenetics...

 was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine administered by the Nobel Foundation, is awarded once a year for outstanding discoveries in the field of life science and medicine. It is one of five Nobel Prizes established in 1895 by Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, in his will...

"for her discovery of mobile genetic elements".
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