The micronuclear genome of Tetrahymena thermophila contains Tel-1 elements that structurally resemble transposons. Here we present molecular evidence that Tel-1 transposon-like elements are mobile. The arrangements of Tel-1 elements in the micronuclear genomes of several T. thermophila strains and cell lines were assayed by Southern blotting. The molecular evidence for Tel-1 transposition is most striking in strains that have undergone unusual laboratory-induced meioses. The genetic history of the strains exhibiting evidence of Tel-1 transposition is consistent with periods of genome restructuring in response to genomic "shock" that B. McClintock has suggested could result in transposon activation.