Mobile genetic elements

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Mobile genetic elements in the Cell (left) and in what ways they can be acquired (right).

Mobile genetic elements (MGE) are a type of DNA that can move around within the genome. They include:

The total of all mobile genetic elements in a genome may be referred to as the mobilome. Barbara McClintock was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for her discovery of mobile genetic elements".[1]

Mobile genetic elements play a critical role in the spread of virulence factors, such as exotoxins and exoenzymes, amongst bacteria. Strategies to combat certain bacterial infections by targeting these specific virulence factors and mobile genetic elements have been proposed.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1983". Retrieved 14 July 2010. 
  2. ^ Keen, E. C. (December 2012). "Paradigms of pathogenesis: Targeting the mobile genetic elements of disease". Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. 2: 161. PMC 3522046Freely accessible. PMID 23248780. doi:10.3389/fcimb.2012.00161.