Definition of p element in US English:

p element


  • The first eukaryotic transposon to be identified, found in Drosophila fruit flies and used as a vector for experimental gene transfer.


1980s. From p- + element, with reference to the so-called ‘paternally contributing’ strains of Drosophila fruit flies (bearing p elements), which produce sterile offspring from males mated with females of the ‘maternally contributing strains’ lacking this element, but not vice versa.