A mobile group I intron containing two ribozyme domains and a homing endonuclease gene (twin-ribozyme intron organization) can integrate by reverse splicing into the small subunit rRNA of bacteria and yeast. The integration is sequence-specific and corresponds to the natural insertion site (homing site) of the intron. The reverse splicing is independent of the homing endonuclease gene, but is dependent on the group I splicing ribozyme domain. The observed distribution of group I introns in nature can be explained by horizontal transfer between natural homing sites by reverse splicing and subsequent spread in populations by endonuclease-dependent homing.

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