Miniature inverted-repeat transposable elements (MITEs) are short DNA transposons with terminal inverted repeat (TIR) signals and have been extensively studied in plants and other eukaryotes. But little is known about them in eubacteria.We identified a novel and recently active MITE, Chunjie, when studying the recent duplication of an operon consisting of ABC transporters and a phosphate uptake regulator in the chromosome of Geobacter uraniireducens Rf4. Chunjie resembles the other known MITEs in many aspects, e.g., having TIR signals and direct repeats, small in size, noncoding, able to fold into a stable secondary structure, and typically inserted into A + T-rich regions. At least one case of recent transposition was observed, i.e., the insertion of Chunjie into one copy of the aforementioned operon. As far as we know, this is the first report that the insertion of a MITE does not disrupt the operon structure.
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