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A hyperactive sleeping beauty transposase enhances transgenesis in zebrafish embryos

Morgan Newman* and Michael Lardelli

Author Affiliations

Discipline of Genetics, The School of Molecular and Biomedical Science, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, 5005, Australia

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BMC Research Notes 2010, 3:282  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-282

Published: 4 November 2010



Transposons are useful molecular tools for transgenesis. The 'sleeping beauty' transposon is a synthetic member of the Tc1/mariner transposon family. Davidson et al. (2003) previously described a vector for zebrafish transgenesis consisting of the inverted repeats of 'sleeping beauty' flanking the gene to be transposed. Subsequently, there have been attempts to enhance the transpositional activity of 'sleeping beauty' by increasing the activity of its transposase. Recently, Mates et al. (2009) generated a hyperactive transposase giving a 100-fold increased transposition rate in mouse embryos.


The aim of this experiment was to determine whether this novel hyperactive transposase enhances transgenesis in zebrafish embryos. Using our previously characterised mitfa-amyloid╬▓-GFP transgene, we observed an eight-fold enhancement in transient transgenesis following detection of transgene expression in melanophores by whole mount in-situ hybridisation. However, high rates of defective embryogenesis were also observed.


The novel hyperactive 'sleeping beauty' transposase enhances the rate of transgenesis in zebrafish embryos.