AbstractCopia and Gypsy play important roles in structural, functional and evolutionary dynamics of plant genomes. In this study, a total of 106 and 101, Copia and Gypsy reverse transcriptase (rt) were amplified respectively in the Morus notabilis genome using degenerate primers. All sequences exhibited high levels of heterogeneity, were rich in AT and possessed higher sequence divergence of Copia rt in comparison to Gypsy rt. Two reasons are likely to account for this phenomenon: a) these elements often experience deletions or fragmentation by illegitimate or unequal homologous recombination in the transposition process; b) strong purifying selective pressure drives the evolution of these elements through “selective silencing” with random mutation and eventual deletion from the host genome. Interestingly, mulberry rt clustered with other rt from distantly related taxa according to the phylogenetic analysis. This phenomenon did not result from horizontal transposable element transfer. Results obtained from fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed that most of the hybridization signals were preferentially concentrated in pericentromeric and distal regions of chromosomes, and these elements may play important roles in the regions in which they are found. Results of this study support the continued pursuit of further functional studies of Copia and Gypsy in the mulberry genome.
Open Life Sciences – de Gruyter
Published: Oct 17, 2017
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