ABSTRACT: Transposable elements with long terminal direct repeats (LTR TEs) are one of the best studied groups of mobile elements. They are ubiquitous elements present in almost all eukaryotic genomes. Their number and state of conservation can be a highlight of genome dynamics. We searched all published fungal genomes for LTR-containing retrotransposons, including both complete, functional elements and remnant copies. We identified a total of over 66,000 elements, all of which belong to the Ty1/Copia or Ty3/Gypsy superfamilies. Most of the detected Gypsy elements represent Chromoviridae, i.e. they carry a chromodomain in the pol ORF. We analyzed our data from a genome-ecology perspective, looking at the abundance of various types of LTR TEs in individual genomes and at the highest-copy element from each genome. The TE content is very variable among the analyzed genomes. Some genomes are very scarce in LTR TEs (<50 elements), others demonstrate huge expansions (>8000 elements). The data shows that transposon expansions in fungi usually involve an increase both in the copy number of individual elements and in the number of element types. The majority of the highest-copy TEs from all genomes are Ty3/Gypsy transposons. Phylogenetic analysis of these elements suggests that TE expansions have appeared independently of each other, in distant genomes and at different taxonomical levels. We also analyzed the evolutionary relationships between protein domains encoded by the transposon pol ORF and we found that the protease is the fastest evolving domain whereas reverse transcriptase and RNase H evolve much slower and in correlation with each other.
Project description:Asparagus officinalis is an economically and nutritionally important vegetable crop that is widely cultivated and is used as a model dioecious species to study plant sex determination and sex chromosome evolution. To improve our understanding of its genome composition, especially with respect to transposable elements (TEs), which make up the majority of the genome, we performed Illumina HiSeq2000 sequencing of both male and female asparagus genomes followed by bioinformatics analysis. We generated 17 Gb of sequence (12×coverage) and assembled them into 163,406 scaffolds with a total cumulated length of 400 Mbp, which represent about 30% of asparagus genome. Overall, TEs masked about 53% of the A. officinalis assembly. Majority of the identified TEs belonged to LTR retrotransposons, which constitute about 28% of genomic DNA, with Ty1/copia elements being more diverse and accumulated to higher copy numbers than Ty3/gypsy. Compared with LTR retrotransposons, non-LTR retrotransposons and DNA transposons were relatively rare. In addition, comparison of the abundance of the TE groups between male and female genomes showed that the overall TE composition was highly similar, with only slight differences in the abundance of several TE groups, which is consistent with the relatively recent origin of asparagus sex chromosomes. This study greatly improves our knowledge of the repetitive sequence construction of asparagus, which facilitates the identification of TEs responsible for the early evolution of plant sex chromosomes and is helpful for further studies on this dioecious plant.
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: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:Among vertebrates, most of the largest genomes are found within the salamanders, a clade of amphibians that includes 613 species. Salamander genome sizes range from ~14 to ~120 Gb. Because genome size is correlated with nucleus and cell sizes, as well as other traits, morphological evolution in salamanders has been profoundly affected by genomic gigantism. However, the molecular mechanisms driving genomic expansion in this clade remain largely unknown. Here, we present the first comparative analysis of transposable element (TE) content in salamanders. Using high-throughput sequencing, we generated genomic shotgun data for six species from the Plethodontidae, the largest family of salamanders. We then developed a pipeline to mine TE sequences from shotgun data in taxa with limited genomic resources, such as salamanders. Our summaries of overall TE abundance and diversity for each species demonstrate that TEs make up a substantial portion of salamander genomes, and that all of the major known types of TEs are represented in salamanders. The most abundant TE superfamilies found in the genomes of our six focal species are similar, despite substantial variation in genome size. However, our results demonstrate a major difference between salamanders and other vertebrates: salamander genomes contain much larger amounts of long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons, primarily Ty3/gypsy elements. Thus, the extreme increase in genome size that occurred in salamanders was likely accompanied by a shift in TE landscape. These results suggest that increased proliferation of LTR retrotransposons was a major molecular mechanism contributing to genomic expansion in salamanders.
Project description:Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) is an important legume crop grown and consumed worldwide. With the availability of the common bean genome sequence, the next challenge is to annotate the genome and characterize functional DNA elements. Transposable elements (TEs) are the most abundant component of plant genomes and can dramatically affect genome evolution and genetic variation. Thus, it is pivotal to identify TEs in the common bean genome. In this study, we performed a genome-wide transposon annotation in common bean using a combination of homology and sequence structure-based methods. We developed a 2.12-Mb transposon database which includes 791 representative transposon sequences and is available upon request or from www.phytozome.org. Of note, nearly all transposons in the database are previously unrecognized TEs. More than 5,000 transposon-related expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were detected which indicates that some transposons may be transcriptionally active. Two Ty1-copia retrotransposon families were found to encode the envelope-like protein which has rarely been identified in plant genomes. Also, we identified an extra open reading frame (ORF) termed ORF2 from 15 Ty3-gypsy families that was located between the ORF encoding the retrotransposase and the 3'LTR. The ORF2 was in opposite transcriptional orientation to retrotransposase. Sequence homology searches and phylogenetic analysis suggested that the ORF2 may have an ancient origin, but its function is not clear. These transposon data provide a useful resource for understanding the genome organization and evolution and may be used to identify active TEs for developing transposon-tagging system in common bean and other related genomes.
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:Transposable elements (TEs) are an important source of genetic diversity and can be co-opted for the regulation of host genes. However, to what extent the pervasive TE colonization of plant genomes has contributed to stress adaptation remains controversial. Plants inhabiting harsh environments in nature provide a unique opportunity to answer this question. We compared TE compositions and their evolutionary dynamics in the genomes of two mangrove species: the pioneer Sonneratia alba and its less salt-tolerant relative S. caseolaris. Age distribution, strength of purifying selection and the removal rate of LTR (long terminal repeat) retrotransposons were estimated. Phylogenetic analysis of LTR retrotransposons and their distribution in the genome of S. alba were surveyed. Small RNA sequencing and whole-genome bisulfite sequencing was conducted using leaves of S. alba. Expression pattern of LTR retrotransposons and their nearby genes were examined using RNA-seq data of S. alba under different salt treatments. S. alba possesses more TEs than S. caseolaris. Particularly, many more young Gypsy LTR retrotransposons have accumulated in S. alba than in S. caseolaris despite an increase in purifying selection against TE insertions. The top two most abundant Gypsy families in S. alba preferentially insert in gene-poor regions. They are under relaxed epigenetic repression, probably due to the presence of CHROMO domains in their 3′-ends. Although a considerable number of TEs in S. alba showed differential expression under salt stress, only four copies were significantly correlated with their nearby genes in expression levels. One such TE-gene pair involves Abscisic acid 8'-hydroxylase 3 functioning in abscisic acid catabolism. This study sheds light on the evolutionary dynamics and potential function of TEs in an extremophile. Our results suggest that the conclusion on co-option of TEs should be cautious even though activation of TEs by stress might be prevalent.
Project description:Repetitive DNA-specifically, transposable elements (TEs)-is a prevailing genomic fraction in cereals that underlies extensive genome reshuffling and intraspecific diversification in the wild. Although large amounts of data have been accumulated, the effect of TEs on the genome architecture and functioning is not fully understood. Here, plant genome organization was addressed by means of cloning and sequencing TE fragments of different types, which compose the largest portion of the Aegilops speltoides genome. Individual genotypes were analyzed cytogenetically using the cloned TE fragments as the DNA probes for fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The obtained TE sequences of the Ty1-copia, Ty3-gypsy, LINE, and CACTA superfamilies showed the relatedness of the Ae. speltoides genome to the Triticeae tribe and similarities to evolutionarily distant species. A significant number of clones consisted of intercalated fragments of TEs of various types, in which Fatima (Ty3-gypsy) sequences predominated. At the chromosomal level, different TE clones demonstrated sequence-specific patterning, emphasizing the effect of the TE fraction on the Ae. speltoides genome architecture and intraspecific diversification. Altogether, the obtained data highlight the current species-specific organization and patterning of the mobile element fraction and point to ancient evolutionary events in the genome of Ae. speltoides.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Plant genomes can respond rapidly to environmental changes and transposable elements (TEs) arise as important drivers contributing to genome dynamics. Although some elements were reported to be induced by various abiotic or biotic factors, there is a lack of general understanding on how environment influences the activity and diversity of TEs. Here, we combined common garden experiment with short-read sequencing to investigate genomic abundance and expression of 2245 consensus TE sequences (containing retrotransposons and DNA transposons) in an alpine environment in Arabidopsis arenosa. To disentangle general trends from local differentiation, we leveraged four foothill-alpine population pairs from different mountain regions. Seeds of each of the eight populations were raised under four treatments that differed in temperature and irradiance, two factors varying with elevation. RNA-seq analysis was performed on leaves of young plants to test for the effect of elevation and subsequently of temperature and irradiance on expression of TE sequences.<h4>Results</h4>Genomic abundance of the 2245 consensus TE sequences varied greatly between the mountain regions in line with neutral divergence among the regions, representing distinct genetic lineages of A. arenosa. Accounting for intraspecific variation in abundance, we found consistent transcriptomic response for some TE sequences across the different pairs of foothill-alpine populations suggesting parallelism in TE expression. In particular expression of retrotransposon LTR Copia (e.g. Ivana and Ale clades) and LTR Gypsy (e.g. Athila and CRM clades) but also non-LTR LINE or DNA transposon TIR MuDR consistently varied with elevation of origin. TE sequences responding specifically to temperature and irradiance belonged to the same classes as well as additional TE clades containing potentially stress-responsive elements (e.g. LTR Copia Sire and Tar, LTR Gypsy Reina).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our study demonstrated that the A. arenosa genome harbours a considerable diversity of TE sequences whose abundance and expression response varies across its native range. Some TE clades may contain transcriptionally active elements responding to a natural environmental gradient. This may further contribute to genetic variation between populations and may ultimately provide new regulatory mechanisms to face environmental challenges.
Project description:Transposable elements (TEs) are ubiquitous in arthropods. However, analyses of large-scale and long-term coevolution between TEs and host genomes remain scarce in arthropods. Here, we choose 14 representative Arthropoda species from eight orders spanning more than 500 million years of evolution. By developing an unbiased TE annotation pipeline, we obtained 87 to 2266 TE reference sequences in a species, which is a considerable improvement compared to the reference TEs previously annotated in Repbase. We find that TE loads are diversified among species and were previously underestimated. The highly species- and time-specific expansions and contractions, and intraspecific sequence diversification are the leading driver of long terminal repeat (LTR) dynamics in Lepidoptera. Terminal inverted repeats (TIRs) proliferated substantially in five species with large genomes. A phylogenetic comparison reveals that the loads of multiple TE subfamilies are positively correlated with genome sizes. We also identified a few horizontally transferred TE candidates across nine species. In addition, we set up the Arthropod Transposable Elements database (ArTEdb) to provide TE references and annotations. Collectively, our results provide high-quality TE references and uncover that TE loads and expansion histories vary greatly among arthropods, which implies that TEs are an important driving force shaping the evolution of genomes through gain and loss.