Long terminal repeat retrotransposons of Oryza sativa.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons constitute a major fraction of the genomes of higher plants. For example, retrotransposons comprise more than 50% of the maize genome and more than 90% of the wheat genome. LTR retrotransposons are believed to have contributed significantly to the evolution of genome structure and function. The genome sequencing of selected experimental and agriculturally important species is providing an unprecedented opportunity to view the patterns of variation existing among the entire complement of retrotransposons in complete genomes. RESULTS:Using a new data-mining program, LTR_STRUC, (LTR retrotransposon structure program), we have mined the GenBank rice (Oryza sativa) database as well as the more extensive (259 Mb) Monsanto rice dataset for LTR retrotransposons. Almost two-thirds (37) of the 59 families identified consist of copia-like elements, but gypsy-like elements outnumber copia-like elements by a ratio of approximately 2:1. At least 17% of the rice genome consists of LTR retrotransposons. In addition to the ubiquitous gypsy- and copia-like classes of LTR retrotransposons, the rice genome contains at least two novel families of unusually small, non-coding (non-autonomous) LTR retrotransposons. CONCLUSIONS:Each of the major clades of rice LTR retrotransposons is more closely related to elements present in other species than to the other clades of rice elements, suggesting that horizontal transfer may have occurred over the evolutionary history of rice LTR retrotransposons. Like LTR retrotransposons in other species with relatively small genomes, many rice LTR retrotransposons are relatively young, indicating a high rate of turnover.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The three superfamilies of Long Terminal Repeat (LTR) retrotransposons are a widespread kind of transposable element and a major factor in eukaryotic genome evolution. In metazoans, recent studies suggested that Copia LTR-retrotransposons display specific dynamic compared to the more abundant and diverse Gypsy elements. Indeed, Copia elements show a relative scarcity and the prevalence of only a few clades in specific hosts. Thus, BEL/Pao seems to be the second most abundant superfamily. However, the generality of these assumptions remains to be assessed. Therefore, we carried out the first large-scale comparative genomic analysis of LTR-retrotransposons in molluscs. The aim of this study was to analyse the diversity, copy numbers, genomic proportions and distribution of LTR-retrotransposons in a large host phylum. RESULTS:We compare nine genomes of molluscs and further added LTR-retrotransposons sequences detected in databases for 47 additional species. We identified 1709 families, which enabled us to define 31 clades. We show that clade richness was highly dependent on the considered superfamily. We found only three Copia clades, including GalEa and Hydra which appear to be widely distributed and highly dominant as they account for 96% of the characterised Copia elements. Among the seven BEL/Pao clades identified, Sparrow and Surcouf are characterised for the first time. We find no BEL or Pao elements, but the rare clades Dan and Flow are present in molluscs. Finally, we characterised 21 Gypsy clades, only five of which had been previously described, the C-clade being the most abundant one. Even if they are found in the same number of host species, Copia elements are clearly less abundant than BEL/Pao elements in copy number or genomic proportions, while Gypsy elements are always the most abundant ones whatever the parameter considered. CONCLUSIONS:Our analysis confirms the contrasting dynamics of Copia and Gypsy elements in metazoans and indicates that BEL/Pao represents the second most abundant superfamily, probably reflecting an intermediate dynamic. Altogether, the data obtained in several taxa highly suggest that these patterns can be generalised for most metazoans. Finally, we highlight the importance of using database information in complement of genome analyses when analyzing transposable element diversity.
Project description:Long Terminal Repeat (LTR) retrotransposons constitute a significant part of eukaryotic genomes and play an important role in genome evolution especially in plants. Jute is an important fiber crop with a large genome of 1,250 Mbps. This genome is still mostly unexplored. In this study we aimed at identifying and characterizing the LTR retrotransposons of jute with a view to understanding the jute genome better. In this study, the Reverse Transcriptase domain of Ty1-copia and Ty3-gypsy LTR retrotransposons of jute were amplified by degenerate primers and their expressions were examined by reverse transcription PCR. Copy numbers of reverse transcriptase (RT) genes of Ty1-copia and Ty3-gypsy elements were determined by dot blot analysis. Sequence analysis revealed higher heterogeneity among Ty1-copia retrotransposons than Ty3-gypsy and clustered each of them in three groups. Copy number of RT genes in Ty1-copia was found to be higher than that of Ty3-gypsy elements from dot blot hybridization. Cumulatively Ty1-copia and Ty3-gypsy may constitute around 19% of the jute genome where two groups of Ty1-copia were found to be transcriptionally active. Since the LTR retrotransposons constitute a large portion of jute genome, these findings imply the importance of these elements in the evolution of jute genome.
Project description:Long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons are highly abundant in plant genomes and require transcriptional activity for their proliferative mode of replication. These sequences exist in plant genomes as diverse sublineages within the main element superfamilies (i.e., gypsy and copia). While transcriptional activity of these elements is increasingly recognized as a regular attribute of plant transcriptomes, it is currently unknown the extent to which different sublineages of these elements are transcriptionally active both within and across species. In the current report, we utilize next generation sequencing methods to examine genomic copy number abundance of diverse LTR retrotransposon sublineages and their corresponding levels of transcriptional activity in three diploid wild sunflower species, Helianthus agrestis, H. carnosus and H. porteri.The diploid sunflower species under investigation differ in genome size 2.75-fold, with 2C values of 22.93 for H. agrestis, 12.31 for H. carnosus and 8.33 for H. porteri. The same diverse gypsy and copia sublineages of LTR retrotransposons were identified across species, but with gypsy sequences consistently more abundant than copia and with global gypsy sequence abundance positively correlated with nuclear genome size. Transcriptional activity was detected for multiple copia and gypsy sequences, with significantly higher activity levels detected for copia versus gypsy. Interestingly, of 11 elements identified as transcriptionally active, 5 exhibited detectable expression in all three species and 3 exhibited detectable expression in two species.Combined analyses of LTR retrotransposon genomic abundance and transcriptional activity across three sunflower species provides novel insights into genome size evolution and transposable element dynamics in this group. Despite considerable variation in nuclear genome size among species, relatively conserved patterns of LTR retrotransposon transcriptional activity were observed, with a highly overlapping set of copia and gypsy sequences observed to be transcriptionally active across species. A higher proportion of copia versus gypsy elements were found to be transcriptionally active and these sequences also were expressed at higher levels.
Project description:BACKGROUND: LTR Retrotransposons transpose through reverse transcription of an RNA intermediate and are ubiquitous components of all eukaryotic genomes thus far examined. Plant genomes, in particular, have been found to be comprised of a remarkably high number of LTR retrotransposons. There is a significant body of direct and indirect evidence that LTR retrotransposons have contributed to gene and genome evolution in plants. RESULTS: To explore the evolutionary history of long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons and their impact on the genome of Oryza sativa, we have extended an earlier computer-based survey to include all identifiable full-length, fragmented and solo LTR elements in the rice genome database as of April 2002. A total of 1,219 retroelement sequences were identified, including 217 full-length elements, 822 fragmented elements, and 180 solo LTRs. In order to gain insight into the chromosomal distribution of LTR-retrotransposons in the rice genome, a detailed examination of LTR-retrotransposon sequences on Chromosome 10 was carried out. An average of 22.3 LTR-retrotransposons per Mb were detected in Chromosome 10. CONCLUSIONS: Gypsy-like elements were found to be >4 x more abundant than copia-like elements. Eleven of the thirty-eight investigated LTR-retrotransposon families displayed significant subfamily structure. We estimate that at least 46.5% of LTR-retrotransposons in the rice genome are older than the age of the species (< 680,000 years). LTR-retrotransposons present in the rice genome range in age from those just recently inserted up to nearly 10 million years old. Approximately 20% of LTR retrotransposon sequences lie within putative genes. The distribution of elements across chromosome 10 is non-random with the highest density (48 elements per Mb) being present in the pericentric region.
Project description:The evolutionary dynamics of long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons in tree genomes has remained largely unknown. The availability of the complete genome sequences of the mulberry tree (Morus notabilis) has offered an unprecedented opportunity for us to characterize these retrotransposon elements. We investigated 202 and 114 families of Copia and Gypsy superfamilies, respectively, comprising 2916 intact elements in the mulberry genome. The tRNAMet was the most frequently used type of tRNA in both superfamilies. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that Copia and Gypsy from mulberry can be grouped into eight and six lineages, respectively. All previously characterized families of such elements could also be found in the mulberry genome. About 95% of the identified Copia and Gypsy full elements were estimated to have been inserted into the mulberry genome within the past 2–3 million years. Meanwhile, the estimated insertion times of members of the three most abundant families of the Copia superfamily (908 members from the three most abundant families) and Gypsy superfamily (783 members from the three most abundant families) revealed divergent life histories. Compared with the situation in Gypsy elements, three families of Copia elements are under positive selection pressure, which suggested that Copia elements may have a dominant influence in the evolution of mulberry genes. Analysis of insertion and deletion dynamics suggested that Copia and Gypsy elements exhibited a very long half-life in the mulberry genome. The present work provides new insights into the insertion and deletion dynamics of LTR retrotransposons, and it will greatly improve our understanding of the important roles transposable elements play in the architecture of the mulberry genome.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) is an important crop for the production of bioproducts derived from its seed and stem fiber. Transposable elements (TEs) are widespread in plant genomes and are a key component of their evolution. The availability of a genome assembly of flax (Linum usitatissimum) affords new opportunities to explore the diversity of TEs and their relationship to genes and gene expression.<h4>Results</h4>Four de novo repeat identification algorithms (PILER, RepeatScout, LTR_finder and LTR_STRUC) were applied to the flax genome assembly. The resulting library of flax repeats was combined with the RepBase Viridiplantae division and used with RepeatMasker to identify TEs coverage in the genome. LTR retrotransposons were the most abundant TEs (17.2% genome coverage), followed by Long Interspersed Nuclear Element (LINE) retrotransposons (2.10%) and Mutator DNA transposons (1.99%). Comparison of putative flax TEs to flax transcript databases indicated that TEs are not highly expressed in flax. However, the presence of recent insertions, defined by 100% intra-element LTR similarity, provided evidence for recent TE activity. Spatial analysis showed TE-rich regions, gene-rich regions as well as regions with similar genes and TE density. Monte Carlo simulations for the 71 largest scaffolds (? 1 Mb each) did not show any regional differences in the frequency of TE overlap with gene coding sequences. However, differences between TE superfamilies were found in their proximity to genes. Genes within TE-rich regions also appeared to have lower transcript expression, based on EST abundance. When LTR elements were compared, Copia showed more diversity, recent insertions and conserved domains than the Gypsy, demonstrating their importance in genome evolution.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The calculated 23.06% TE coverage of the flax WGS assembly is at the low end of the range of TE coverages reported in other eudicots, although this estimate does not include TEs likely found in unassembled repetitive regions of the genome. Since enrichment for TEs in genomic regions was associated with reduced expression of neighbouring genes, and many members of the Copia LTR superfamily are inserted close to coding regions, we suggest Copia elements have a greater influence on recent flax genome evolution while Gypsy elements have become residual and highly mutated.
Project description:A nest of long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons (RTRs), discovered by LTR_STRUC analysis, is near core genes encoding the NPR1 disease resistance-activating factor and a heat-shock-factor-(HSF-) like protein in sugarbeet hybrid US H20. SCHULTE, a 10 833 bp LTR retrotransposon, with 1372 bp LTRs that are 0.7% divergent, has two ORFs with unexpected introns but encoding a reverse transcriptase with rve and Rvt2 domains similar to Ty1/copia-type retrotransposons and a hypothetical protein. SCHULTE produced significant nucleotide BLAST alignments with repeat DNA elements from all four families of plants represented in the TIGR plant repeat database (PRD); the best nucleotide sequence alignment was to ToRTL1 in Lycopersicon esculentum. A second sugarbeet LTR retrotransposon, SCHMIDT, 11 565 bp in length, has 2561 bp LTRs that share 100% identity with each other and share 98-99% nucleotide sequence identity over 10% of their length with DRVs, a family of highly repetitive, relatively small DNA sequences that are widely dispersed over the sugarbeet genome. SCHMIDT encodes a complete gypsy-like polyprotein in a single ORF. Analysis using LTR_STRUC of an in silico deletion of both of the above two LTR retrotransposons found that SCHULTE and SCHMIDT had inserted within an older LTR retrotransposon, resulting in a nest that is only about 10 Kb upstream of NPR1 in sugarbeet hybrid US H20.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Retrotransposons are commonly occurring eukaryotic transposable elements (TEs). Among these, long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons are the most abundant TEs and can comprise 50-90% of the genome in higher plants. By comparing the orthologous chromosomal regions of closely related species, the effects of TEs on the evolution of plant genomes can be studied in detail. RESULTS: Here, we compared the composition and organization of TEs within five orthologous chromosomal regions among three grass species: maize, sorghum, and rice. We identified a total of 132 full or fragmented LTR retrotransposons in these regions. As a percentage of the total cumulative sequence in each species, LTR retrotransposons occupy 45.1% of the maize, 21.1% of the rice, and 3.7% of the sorghum regions. The most common elements in the maize retrotransposon-rich regions are the copia-like retrotransposons with 39% and the gypsy-like retrotransposons with 37%. Using the contiguous sequence of the orthologous regions, we detected 108 retrotransposons with intact target duplication sites and both LTR termini. Here, we show that 74% of these elements inserted into their host genome less than 1 million years ago and that many retroelements expanded in size by the insertion of other sequences. These inserts were predominantly other retroelements, however, several of them were also fragmented genes. Unforeseen was the finding of intact genes embedded within LTR retrotransposons. CONCLUSION: Although the abundance of retroelements between maize and rice is consistent with their different genome sizes of 2,364 and 389 Mb respectively, the content of retrotransposons in sorghum (790 Mb) is surprisingly low. In all three species, retrotransposition is a very recent activity relative to their speciation. While it was known that genes re-insert into non-orthologous positions of plant genomes, they appear to re-insert also within retrotransposons, potentially providing an important role for retrotransposons in the evolution of gene function.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Transposable elements (TEs) are considered to be an important source of genome size variation and genetic and phenotypic plasticity in eukaryotes. Most of our knowledge about TEs comes from large genomic projects and studies focused on model organisms. However, TE dynamics among related taxa from natural populations and the role of TEs at the species or supra-species level, where genome size and karyotype evolution are modulated in concert with polyploidy and chromosomal rearrangements, remain poorly understood. We focused on the holokinetic genus Eleocharis (Cyperaceae), which displays large variation in genome size and the occurrence of polyploidy and agmatoploidy/symploidy. We analyzed and quantified the long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons Ty1-copia and Ty3-gypsy in relation to changes in both genome size and karyotype in Eleocharis. We also examined how this relationship is reflected in the phylogeny of Eleocharis. RESULTS: Using flow cytometry, we measured the genome sizes of members of the genus Eleocharis (Cyperaceae). We found positive correlation between the independent phylogenetic contrasts of genome size and chromosome number in Eleocharis. We analyzed PCR-amplified sequences of various reverse transcriptases of the LTR retrotransposons Ty1-copia and Ty3-gypsy (762 sequences in total). Using real-time PCR and dot blot approaches, we quantified the densities of Ty1-copia and Ty3-gypsy within the genomes of the analyzed species. We detected an increasing density of Ty1-copia elements in evolutionarily younger Eleocharis species and found a positive correlation between Ty1-copia densities and C/n-values (an alternative measure of monoploid genome size) in the genus phylogeny. In addition, our analysis of Ty1-copia sequences identified a novel retrotransposon family named Helos1, which is responsible for the increasing density of Ty1-copia. The transition:transversion ratio of Helos1 sequences suggests that Helos1 recently transposed in later-diverging Eleocharis species. CONCLUSIONS: Using several different approaches, we were able to distinguish between the roles of LTR retrotransposons, polyploidy and agmatoploidy/symploidy in shaping Eleocharis genomes and karyotypes. Our results confirm the occurrence of both polyploidy and agmatoploidy/symploidy in Eleocharis. Additionally, we introduce a new player in the process of genome evolution in holokinetic plants: LTR retrotransposons.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Long terminal repeat retrotransposons (LTR elements) are ubiquitous Eukaryotic TEs that transpose through RNA intermediates. Accounting for significant proportion of many plant genomes, LTR elements have been well established as one of the major forces underlying the evolution of plant genome size, structure and function. The accessibility of more than 40% of genomic sequences of the model legume Medicago truncatula (Mt) has made the comprehensive study of its LTR elements possible. RESULTS: We use a newly developed tool LTR_FINDER to identify LTR retrotransposons in the Mt genome and detect 526 full-length elements as well as a great number of copies related to them. These elements constitute about 9.6% of currently available genomic sequences. They are classified into 85 families of which 64 are reported for the first time. The majority of the LTR retrotransposons belong to either Copia or Gypsy superfamily and the others are categorized as TRIMs or LARDs by their length. We find that the copy-number of Copia-like families is 3 times more than that of Gypsy-like ones but the latter contribute more to the genome. The analysis of PBS and protein-coding domain structure of the LTR families reveals that they tend to use only 4-5 types of tRNAs and many families have quite conservative ORFs besides known TE domains. For several important families, we describe in detail their abundance, conservation, insertion time and structure. We investigate the amplification-deletion pattern of the elements and find that the detectable full-length elements are relatively young and most of them were inserted within the last 0.52 MY. We also estimate that more than ten million bp of the Mt genomic sequences have been removed by the deletion of LTR elements and the removal of the full-length structures in Mt has been more rapid than in rice. CONCLUSION: This report is the first comprehensive description and analysis of LTR retrotransposons in the Mt genome. Many important novel LTR families were discovered and their evolution is elucidated. Our results may outline the LTR retrotransposon landscape of the model legume.