The evolutionary dynamics of the Helena retrotransposon revealed by sequenced Drosophila genomes.

Adriana Granzotto Fabrício R Lopes Emmanuelle Lerat 1 Cristina Vieira 2 Claudia M A Carareto
1 Eléments transposables, évolution, populations
GINSENG - Département génétique, interactions et évolution des génomes [LBBE]
2 BAMBOO - An algorithmic view on genomes, cells, and environments
Inria Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes, LBBE - Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive - UMR 5558
Abstract : BACKGROUND: Several studies have shown that genomes contain a mixture of transposable elements, some of which are still active and others ancient relics that have degenerated. This is true for the non-LTR retrotransposon Helena, of which only degenerate sequences have been shown to be present in some species (Drosophila melanogaster), whereas putatively active sequences are present in others (D. simulans). Combining experimental and population analyses with the sequence analysis of the 12 Drosophila genomes, we have investigated the evolution of Helena, and propose a possible scenario for the evolution of this element. RESULTS: We show that six species of Drosophila have the Helena transposable element at different stages of its evolution. The copy number is highly variable among these species, but most of them are truncated at the 5' ends and also harbor several internal deletions and insertions suggesting that they are inactive in all species, except in D. mojavensis in which quantitative RT-PCR experiments have identified a putative active copy. CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that Helena was present in the common ancestor of the Drosophila genus, which has been vertically transmitted to the derived lineages, but that it has been lost in some of them. The wide variation in copy number and sequence degeneration in the different species suggest that the evolutionary dynamics of Helena depends on the genomic environment of the host species.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - 1:23:14 PM
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Adriana Granzotto, Fabrício R Lopes, Emmanuelle Lerat, Cristina Vieira, Claudia M A Carareto. The evolutionary dynamics of the Helena retrotransposon revealed by sequenced Drosophila genomes.. BMC Evolutionary Biology, BioMed Central, 2009, 9, pp.174. ⟨10.1186/1471-2148-9-174⟩. ⟨hal-00850397⟩

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