Student examining a specimen in a microscope

Transposition Mechanisms

Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences

Transposable elements are mobile pieces of DNA that are capable of transposing, or “jumping”, from one location in a genome to another. The transposon used in Dr. Hancock’s lab, mPing, is a 430bp miniature inverted repeat transposable element (MITE) that naturally occurs in the rice genome.  Projects are ongoing to evaluate which regions of mPing promote transposition and to determine if the insertion of mPing can be targeted to specific sequences. Other projects are working on determining the transposition mechanism and how replicative transposition occurs.


  • Test the effect of modifications to mPing
  • Determine what regions of mPing and the transposase proteins are involved in transposition
  • Identify hyperactive versions of the element and transposase proteins


NSF Genetic Mechanisms CAREER (2017 - 2023):  $695,696

Revealing the mechanisms that determine how an active DNA TE impacts the genome.