Correlated evolution of LTR retrotransposons and genome size in the genus Eleocharis.
ABSTRACT: 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: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:KEY MESSAGE:High heterogeneity was observed among conserved domains of reverse transcriptase ( rt ) isolated from quinoa. Only one Ty1- copia rt was highly amplified. Reverse transcriptase sequences were located predominantly in pericentromeric region of quinoa chromosomes. The heterogeneity, genomic abundance, and chromosomal distribution of reverse transcriptase (rt)-coding fragments of Ty1-copia and Ty3-gypsy long terminal repeat retrotransposons were analyzed in the Chenopodium quinoa genome. Conserved domains of the rt gene were amplified and characterized using degenerate oligonucleotide primer pairs. Sequence analyses indicated that half of Ty1-copia rt (51 %) and 39 % of Ty3-gypsy rt fragments contained intact reading frames. High heterogeneity among rt sequences was observed for both Ty1-copia and Ty3-gypsy rt amplicons, with Ty1-copia more heterogeneous than Ty3-gypsy. Most of the isolated rt fragments were present in quinoa genome in low copy numbers, with only one highly amplified Ty1-copia rt sequence family. The gypsy-like RNase H fragments co-amplified with Ty1-copia-degenerate primers were shown to be highly amplified in the quinoa genome indicating either higher abundance of some gypsy families of which rt domains could not be amplified, or independent evolution of this gypsy-region in quinoa. Both Ty1-copia and Ty3-gypsy retrotransposons were preferentially located in pericentromeric heterochromatin of quinoa chromosomes. Phylogenetic analyses of newly amplified rt fragments together with well-characterized retrotransposon families from other organisms allowed identification of major lineages of retroelements in the genome of quinoa and provided preliminary insight into their evolutionary dynamics.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Plant LTR-retrotransposons are classified into two superfamilies, Ty1/copia and Ty3/gypsy. They are further divided into an enormous number of families which are, due to the high diversity of their nucleotide sequences, usually specific to a single or a group of closely related species. Previous attempts to group these families into broader categories reflecting their phylogenetic relationships were limited either to analyzing a narrow range of plant species or to analyzing a small numbers of elements. Furthermore, there is no reference database that allows for similarity based classification of LTR-retrotransposons.<h4>Results</h4>We have assembled a database of retrotransposon encoded polyprotein domains sequences extracted from 5410 Ty1/copia elements and 8453 Ty3/gypsy elements sampled from 80 species representing major groups of green plants (Viridiplantae). Phylogenetic analysis of the three most conserved polyprotein domains (RT, RH and INT) led to dividing Ty1/copia and Ty3/gypsy retrotransposons into 16 and 14 lineages respectively. We also characterized various features of LTR-retrotransposon sequences including additional polyprotein domains, extra open reading frames and primer binding sites, and found that the occurrence and/or type of these features correlates with phylogenies inferred from the three protein domains.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We have established an improved classification system applicable to LTR-retrotransposons from a wide range of plant species. This system reflects phylogenetic relationships as well as distinct sequence and structural features of the elements. A comprehensive database of retrotransposon protein domains (REXdb) that reflects this classification provides a reference for efficient and unified annotation of LTR-retrotransposons in plant genomes. Access to REXdb related tools is implemented in the RepeatExplorer web server (https://repeatexplorer-elixir.cerit-sc.cz/) or using a standalone version of REXdb that can be downloaded seaparately from RepeatExplorer web page (http://repeatexplorer.org/).
Project description:Retrotransposons constitute a major part of the genome in a number of eukaryotes. Long-terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons are one type of the retrotransposons. Candida albicans have 34 distinct LTR-retrotransposon families. They respectively belong to the Ty1/copia and Ty3/gypsy groups which have been extensively studied in the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. LTR-retrotransposons carry two LTRs flanking a long internal protein-coding domain, open reading frames. LTR-retrotransposons use RNA as intermediate to synthesize double-stranded DNA copies. In this article, we describe the structure feature, retrotransposition mechanism and the influence on organism diversity of LTR retrotransposons in C. albicans. We also discuss the relationship between pathogenicity and LTR retrotransposons in C. albicans.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Sequencing projects have allowed diverse retroviruses and LTR retrotransposons from different eukaryotic organisms to be characterized. It is known that retroviruses and other retro-transcribing viruses evolve from LTR retrotransposons and that this whole system clusters into five families: Ty3/Gypsy, Retroviridae, Ty1/Copia, Bel/Pao and Caulimoviridae. Phylogenetic analyses usually show that these split into multiple distinct lineages but what is yet to be understood is how deep evolution occurred in this system.<h4>Results</h4>We combined phylogenetic and graph analyses to investigate the history of LTR retroelements both as a tree and as a network. We used 268 non-redundant LTR retroelements, many of them introduced for the first time in this work, to elucidate all possible LTR retroelement phylogenetic patterns. These were superimposed over the tree of eukaryotes to investigate the dynamics of the system, at distinct evolutionary times. Next, we investigated phenotypic features such as duplication and variability of amino acid motifs, and several differences in genomic ORF organization. Using this information we characterized eight reticulate evolution markers to construct phenotypic network models.<h4>Conclusion</h4>The evolutionary history of LTR retroelements can be traced as a time-evolving network that depends on phylogenetic patterns, epigenetic host-factors and phenotypic plasticity. The Ty1/Copia and the Ty3/Gypsy families represent the oldest patterns in this network that we found mimics eukaryotic macroevolution. The emergence of the Bel/Pao, Retroviridae and Caulimoviridae families in this network can be related with distinct inflations of the Ty3/Gypsy family, at distinct evolutionary times. This suggests that Ty3/Gypsy ancestors diversified much more than their Ty1/Copia counterparts, at distinct geological eras. Consistent with the principle of preferential attachment, the connectivities among phenotypic markers, taken as network-represented combinations, are power-law distributed. This evidences an inflationary mode of evolution where the system diversity; 1) expands continuously alternating vertical and gradual processes of phylogenetic divergence with episodes of modular, saltatory and reticulate evolution; 2) is governed by the intrinsic capability of distinct LTR retroelement host-communities to self-organize their phenotypes according to emergent laws characteristic of complex systems.<h4>Reviewers</h4>This article was reviewed by Eugene V. Koonin, Eric Bapteste, and Enmanuelle Lerat (nominated by King Jordan).
Project description:Background and Aims:Long terminal repeat-retrotransposons (LTR-RTs) comprise a large portion of plant genomes, with massive repeat blocks distributed across the chromosomes. Eleocharis species have holocentric chromosomes, and show a positive correlation between chromosome numbers and the amount of nuclear DNA. To evaluate the role of LTR-RTs in karyotype diversity in members of Eleocharis (subgenus Eleocharis), the occurrence and location of different members of the Copia and Gypsy superfamilies were compared, covering interspecific variations in ploidy levels (considering chromosome numbers), DNA C-values and chromosomal arrangements. Methods:The DNA C-value was estimated by flow cytometry. Genomes of Eleocharis elegans and E. geniculata were partially sequenced using Illumina MiSeq assemblies, which were a source for searching for conserved proteins of LTR-RTs. POL domains were used for recognition, comparing families and for probe production, considering different families of Copia and Gypsy superfamilies. Probes were obtained by PCR and used in fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) against chromosomes of seven Eleocharis species. Key Results:A positive correlation between ploidy levels and the amount of nuclear DNA was observed, but with significant variations between samples with the same ploidy levels, associated with repetitive DNA fractions. LTR-RTs were abundant in E. elegans and E. geniculata genomes, with a predominance of Copia Sirevirus and Gypsy Athila/Tat clades. FISH using LTR-RT probes exhibited scattered and clustered signals, but with differences in the chromosomal locations of Copia and Gypsy. The diversity in LTR-RT locations suggests that there is no typical chromosomal distribution pattern for retrotransposons in holocentric chromosomes, except the CRM family with signals distributed along chromatids. Conclusions:These data indicate independent fates for each LTR-RT family, including accumulation between and within chromosomes and genomes. Differential activity and small changes in LTR-RTs suggest a secondary role in nuclear DNA variation, when compared with ploidy changes.
Project description:Several distinct DNA fragments were subcloned from a sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) bacterial artificial chromosome clone 13I16 that was derived from a centromere. Three fragments showed significant sequence identity to either Ty3/gypsy- or Ty1/copia-like retrotransposons. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis revealed that the Ty1/copia-related DNA sequences are not specific to the centromeric regions. However, the Ty3/gypsy-related sequences were present exclusively in the centromeres of all sorghum chromosomes. FISH and gel-blot hybridization showed that these sequences are also conserved in the centromeric regions of all species within Gramineae. Thus, we report a new retrotransposon that is conserved in specific chromosomal regions of distantly related eukaryotic species. We propose that the Ty3/gypsy-like retrotransposons in the grass centromeres may be ancient insertions and are likely to have been amplified during centromere evolution. The possible role of centromeric retrotransposons in plant centromere function is discussed.
Project description:The dynamics of long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons and their contribution to genome evolution during plant speciation have remained largely unanswered. Here, we perform a genome-wide comparison of all eight <i>Oryza</i> AA-genome species, and identify 3911 intact LTR retrotransposons classified into 790 families. The top 44 most abundant LTR retrotransposon families show patterns of rapid and distinct diversification since the species split over the last ?4.8 MY (million years). Phylogenetic and read depth analyses of 11 representative retrotransposon families further provide a comprehensive evolutionary landscape of these changes. Compared with Ty1-<i>copia</i>, independent bursts of Ty3-<i>gypsy</i> retrotransposon expansions have occurred with the three largest showing signatures of lineage-specific evolution. The estimated insertion times of 2213 complete retrotransposons from the top 23 most abundant families reveal divergent life histories marked by speedy accumulation, decline, and extinction that differed radically between species. We hypothesize that this rapid evolution of LTR retrotransposons not only divergently shaped the architecture of rice genomes but also contributed to the process of speciation and diversification of rice.
Project description:Improved knowledge of genome composition, especially of its repetitive component, generates important information for both theoretical and applied research. The olive repetitive component is made up of two main classes of sequences: tandem repeats and retrotransposons (REs). In this study, we provide characterization of a sample of 254 unique full-length long terminal repeat (LTR) REs. In the sample, Ty1-Copia elements were more numerous than Ty3-Gypsy elements. Mapping a large set of Illumina whole-genome shotgun reads onto the identified retroelement set revealed that Gypsy elements are more redundant than Copia elements. The insertion time of intact retroelements was estimated based on sister LTR's divergence. Although some elements inserted relatively recently, the mean insertion age of the isolated retroelements is around 18 million yrs. Gypsy and Copia retroelements showed different waves of transposition, with Gypsy elements especially active between 10 and 25 million yrs ago and nearly inactive in the last 7 million yrs. The occurrence of numerous solo-LTRs related to isolated full-length retroelements was ascertained for two Gypsy elements and one Copia element. Overall, the results reported in this study show that RE activity (both retrotransposition and DNA loss) has impacted the olive genome structure in more ancient times than in other angiosperms.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Nesting is common in LTR retrotransposons, especially in large genomes containing a high number of elements.<h4>Results</h4>We analyzed 12 plant genomes and obtained 1491 pairs of nested and original (pre-existing) LTR retrotransposons. We systematically analyzed mutual nesting of individual LTR retrotransposons and found that certain families, more often belonging to the Ty3/gypsy than Ty1/copia superfamilies, showed a higher nesting frequency as well as a higher preference for older copies of the same family ("autoinsertions"). Nested LTR retrotransposons were preferentially located in the 3'UTR of other LTR retrotransposons, while coding and regulatory regions (LTRs) are not commonly targeted. Insertions displayed a weak preference for palindromes and were associated with a strong positional pattern of higher predicted nucleosome occupancy. Deviation from randomness in target site choice was also found in 13,983 non-nested plant LTR retrotransposons.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We reveal that nesting of LTR retrotransposons is not random. Integration is correlated with sequence composition, secondary structure and the chromatin environment. Insertion into retrotransposon positions with a low negative impact on family fitness supports the concept of the genome being viewed as an ecosystem of various elements.