Evolutionary history of Oryza sativa LTR retrotransposons: a preliminary survey of the rice genome sequences.
ABSTRACT: 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:We initially analyzed 11 families of low- and middle-copy-number long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons in rice to determine how their structures have diverged from their predicted ancestral forms. These elements, many highly fragmented, were identified on the basis of sequence homology and structural characteristics. The 11 families, totaling 1000 elements, have copy numbers ranging from 1 to 278. Less than one-quarter of these elements are intact, whereas the remaining are solo LTRs and variously truncated fragments. We also analyzed two highly repetitive families (Osr8 and Osr30) of LTR retrotransposons and observed the same results. Our data indicate that unequal homologous recombination and illegitimate recombination are primarily responsible for LTR-retrotransposon removal. Further analysis suggests that most of the detectable LTR retrotransposons in rice inserted less than 8 million years ago, and have now lost over two-thirds of their encoded sequences. Hence, we predict that the half-life of LTR-retrotransposon sequences in rice is less than 6 million years. Moreover, our data demonstrate that at least 22% (97 Mb) of the current rice genome is comprised of LTR-retrotransposon sequences, and that more than 190 Mb of LTR-retrotransposon sequences have been deleted from the rice genome in the last 8 million years.
Project description:BACKGROUND: LTR retrotransposons are one of the main causes for plant genome size and structure evolution, along with polyploidy. The characterization of their amplification and subsequent elimination of the genomes is therefore a major goal in plant evolutionary genomics. To address the extent and timing of these forces, we performed a detailed analysis of 41 LTR retrotransposon families in rice. RESULTS: Using a new method to estimate the insertion date of both truncated and complete copies, we estimated these two forces more accurately than previous studies based on other methods. We show that LTR retrotransposons have undergone bursts of amplification within the past 5 My. These bursts vary both in date and copy number among families, revealing that each family has a particular amplification history. The number of solo LTR varies among families and seems to correlate with LTR size, suggesting that solo LTR formation is a family-dependent process. The deletion rate estimate leads to the prediction that the half-life of LTR retrotransposon sequences evolving neutrally is about 19 My in rice, suggesting that other processes than the formation of small deletions are prevalent in rice DNA removal. CONCLUSION: Our work provides insights into the dynamics of LTR retrotransposons in the rice genome. We show that transposable element families have distinct amplification patterns, and that the turn-over of LTR retrotransposons sequences is rapid in the rice genome.
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: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:LTR retrotransposons constitute a significant part of plant genomes and their evolutionary dynamics play an important role in genome size changes. Current methods of LTR retrotransposon age estimation are based only on LTR (long terminal repeat) divergence. This has prompted us to analyze sequence similarity of LTRs in 25,144 LTR retrotransposons from fifteen plant species as well as formation of solo LTRs. We found that approximately one fourth of nested retrotransposons showed a higher LTR divergence than the pre-existing retrotransposons into which they had been inserted. Moreover, LTR similarity was correlated with LTR length. We propose that gene conversion can contribute to this phenomenon. Gene conversion prediction in LTRs showed potential converted regions in 25% of LTR pairs. Gene conversion was higher in species with smaller genomes while the proportion of solo LTRs did not change with genome size in analyzed species. The negative correlation between the extent of gene conversion and the abundance of solo LTRs suggests interference between gene conversion and ectopic recombination. Since such phenomena limit the traditional methods of LTR retrotransposon age estimation, we recommend an improved approach based on the exclusion of regions affected by gene conversion.
Project description:The complete DNA sequence of the genome of Schizosaccharomyces pombe provides the opportunity to investigate the entire complement of transposable elements (TEs), their association with specific sequences, their chromosomal distribution, and their evolution. Using homology-based sequence identification, we found that the sequenced strain of S. pombe contained only one family of full-length transposons. This family, Tf2, consisted of 13 full-length copies of a long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposon. We found that LTR-LTR recombination of previously existing transposons had resulted in extensive populations of solo LTRs. These included 35 solo LTRs of Tf2, as well as 139 solo LTRs from other Tf families. Phylogenetic analysis of solo Tf LTRs reveals that Tf1 and Tf2 were the most recently active elements within the genome. The solo LTRs also served as footprints for previous insertion events by the Tf retrotransposons. Analysis of 186 genomic insertion events revealed a close association with RNA polymerase II promoters. These insertions clustered in the promoter-proximal regions of genes, upstream of protein coding regions by 100 to 400 nucleotides. The association of Tf insertions with pol II promoters was very similar to the preference previously observed for Tf1 integration. We found that the recently active Tf elements were absent from centromeres and pericentromeric regions of the genome containing tandem tRNA gene clusters. In addition, our analysis revealed that chromosome III has twice the density of insertion events compared to the other two chromosomes. Finally we describe a novel repetitive sequence, wtf, which was also preferentially located on chromosome III, and was often located near solo LTRs of Tf elements.
Project description:Retroviruses and LTR retrotransposons comprise two long-terminal repeats (LTRs) bounding a central domain that encodes the products needed for reverse transcription, packaging, and integration into the genome. We describe a group of retrotransposons in 13 species and four genera of the grass tribe Triticeae, including barley, with long, approximately 4.4-kb LTRs formerly called Sukkula elements. The approximately 3.5-kb central domains include reverse transcriptase priming sites and are conserved in sequence but contain no open reading frames encoding typical retrotransposon proteins. However, they specify well-conserved RNA secondary structures. These features describe a novel group of elements, called LARDs or large retrotransposon derivatives (LARDs). These appear to be members of the gypsy class of LTR retrotransposons. Although apparently nonautonomous, LARDs appear to be transcribed and can be recombinationally mapped due to the polymorphism of their insertion sites. They are dispersed throughout the genome in an estimated 1.3 x 10(3) full-length copies and 1.16 x 10(4) solo LTRs, indicating frequent recombinational loss of internal domains as demonstrated also for the BARE-1 barley retrotransposon.
Project description:A highly repetitive composite element, Ylt1, was detected in the genome of the dimorphic fungus Yarrowia lipolytica. Ylt1 resembles retrotransposons found in other eukaryotes. It is about 9.4 kb long and can transpose in the genome. The Ylt1 element is bounded by a long terminal repeat (LTR), the zeta element. Several copies of zeta were isolated and sequenced. The sequence of this element is well conserved. It is 714 bp long and is bounded by nucleotides 5'-TG...CA-3', which are part of a short inverted repeat, a feature conserved in the LTRs of retroviruses and retrotransposons. Sequence analysis revealed motifs commonly found in LTR elements, like signals for the start and termination of transcription. The zeta element exists as part of retrotransposon Ylt1, as well as a solo element in the genome. Ylt1 and solo zeta elements are flanked by a 4-bp directly repeated genomic sequence. The copy numbers of Ylt1 and solo zeta are dependent on the strain examined, but at least 35 copies of the composite Ylt1 element and more than 30 copies of the solo zeta element per haploid genome have been observed.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Extensive DNA rearrangement of genic colinearity, as revealed by comparison of orthologous genomic regions, has been shown to be a general concept describing evolutionary dynamics of plant genomes. However, the nature, timing, lineages and adaptation of local genomic rearrangement in closely related species (e.g., within a genus) and haplotype variation of genomic rearrangement within populations have not been well documented. RESULTS: We previously identified a hotspot for genic rearrangement and transposon accumulation in the Orp region of Asian rice (Oryza sativa, AA) by comparison with its orthologous region in sorghum. Here, we report the comparative analysis of this region with its orthologous regions in the wild progenitor species (O. nivara, AA) of Asian rice and African rice (O. glaberrima) using the BB genome Oryza species (O. punctata) as an outgroup, and investigation of transposon insertion sites and a segmental inversion event in the AA genomes at the population level. We found that Orp region was primarily and recently expanded in the Asian rice species O. sativa and O. nivara. LTR-retrotransposons shared by the three AA-genomic regions have been fixed in all the 94 varieties that represent different populations of the AA-genome species/subspecies, indicating their adaptive role in genome differentiation. However, LTR-retrotransposons unique to either O. nivara or O. sativa regions exhibited dramatic haplotype variation regarding their presence or absence between or within populations/subpopulations. CONCLUSIONS: The LTR-retrotransposon insertion hotspot in the Orp region was formed recently, independently and concurrently in different AA-genome species, and that the genic rearrangements detected in different species appear to be differentially triggered by transposable elements. This region is located near the end of the short arm of chromosome 8 and contains a high proportion of LTR-retrotransposons similar to observed in the centromeric region of this same chromosome, and thus may represent a genomic region that has recently switched from euchromatic to heterochromatic states. The haplotype variation of LTR-retrotransposon insertions within this region reveals substantial admixture among various subpopulations as established by molecular markers at the whole genome level, and can be used to develop retrotransposon junction markers for simple and rapid classification of O. sativa germplasm.
Project description:We identified putative long terminal repeat- (LTR) retrotransposon sequences among the 50,000 random sequence tags (RSTs) obtained by the Génolevures project from genomic libraries of 13 Hemiascomycetes species. In most cases additional sequencing enabled us to assemble the whole sequences of these retrotransposons. These approaches identified 17 distinct families, 10 of which are defined by full-length elements. We also identified five families of solo LTRs that were not associated with retrotransposons. Ty1-like retrotransposons were found in four of five species that are phylogenetically related to Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. uvarum, S. exiguus, S. servazzii, and S. kluyveri but not Zygosaccharomyces rouxii), and in two of three Kluyveromyces species (K. lactis and K. marxianus but not K. thermotolerans). Only multiply crippled elements could be identified in the K. lactis and S. servazzii strains analyzed, and only solo LTRs could be identified in S. uvarum. Ty4-like elements were only detected in S. uvarum, indicating that these elements appeared recently before speciation of the Saccharomyces sensu stricto species. Ty5-like elements were detected in S. exiguus, Pichia angusta, and Debaryomyces hansenii. A retrotransposon homologous with Tca2 from Candida albicans, an element absent from S. cerevisiae, was detected in the closely related species D. hansenii. A complete Ty3/gypsy element was present in S. exiguus, whereas only partial, often degenerate, sequences resembling this element were found in S. servazzii, Z. rouxii, S. kluyveri, C. tropicalis, and Yarrowica lipolytica. P. farinosa (syn. P. sorbitophila) is currently the only yeast species in which no LTR retrotransposons or remnants have been found. Thorough analysis of protein sequences, structural characteristics of the elements, and phylogenetic relationships deduced from these data allowed us to propose a classification for the Ty1/copia elements of hemiascomycetous yeasts and a model of LTR-retrotransposon evolution in yeasts.