Weak Effect of Gypsy Retrotransposon Bursts on Sonneratia alba Salt Stress Gene Expression
ABSTRACT: 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:<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: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: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:The placozoan Trichoplax adhaerens has a compact genome with many primitive eumetazoan characteristics. In order to gain a better understanding of its genome architecture, we conducted a detailed analysis of repeat content in this genome. The transposable element (TE) content is lower than that of other metazoans, and the few TEs present in the genome appear to be inactive. A new phylogenetic clade of the gypsy-like LTR retrotransposons was identified, which includes the majority of gypsy-like elements in Trichoplax. A particular microsatellite motif (ACAGT) exhibits unexpectedly high abundance, and also has strong association with its nearby genes.
Project description:The mobilome, portion of the genome composed of transposable elements (TEs), of Anopheles darlingi was described together with the genome of this species. Here, this mobilome was revised using similarity and de novo search approaches. A total of 5.6% of the A. darlingi genome is derived of TEs. Class I gypsy and copia were the most abundant superfamilies, corresponding to 22.36% of the mobilome. Non-LTR elements of the R1 and Jockey superfamilies account for 11% of the TEs. Among Class II TEs, the mariner superfamily is the most abundant (16.01%). Approximately 87% of the A. darlingi mobilome consist of short, truncated and/or degenerated copies of TEs. Only three retrotransposons, two belonging to gypsy and one to copia superfamilies, are putatively active elements. Only one Class II element, belonging to the mariner superfamily, is putatively active, having 12 copies in the genome. The TE landscape of A. darlingi is formed primarily by degenerated elements and, therefore, somewhat stable. Future applications of TE-based vectors for genetic transformation of A. darlingi should take into consideration mariner and piggyBac transposons, because full length and putatively active copies of these elements are present in its genome.
Project description:Repbase is a comprehensive database of eukaryotic transposable elements (TEs) and repeat sequences, containing over 1300 human repeat sequences. Recent analyses of these repeat sequences have accumulated evidences for their contribution to human evolution through becoming functional elements, such as protein-coding regions or binding sites of transcriptional regulators. However, resolving the origins of repeat sequences is a challenge, due to their age, divergence, and degradation. Ancient repeats have been continuously classified as TEs by finding similar TEs from other organisms. Here, the most comprehensive picture of human repeat sequences is presented. The human genome contains traces of 10 clades (L1, CR1, L2, Crack, RTE, RTEX, R4, Vingi, Tx1 and Penelope) of non-long terminal repeat (non-LTR) retrotransposons (long interspersed elements, LINEs), 3 types (SINE1/7SL, SINE2/tRNA, and SINE3/5S) of short interspersed elements (SINEs), 1 composite retrotransposon (SVA) family, 5 classes (ERV1, ERV2, ERV3, Gypsy and DIRS) of LTR retrotransposons, and 12 superfamilies (Crypton, Ginger1, Harbinger, hAT, Helitron, Kolobok, Mariner, Merlin, MuDR, P, piggyBac and Transib) of DNA transposons. These TE footprints demonstrate an evolutionary continuum of the human 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:How asexual reproduction shapes transposable element (TE) content and diversity in eukaryotic genomes remains debated. We performed an initial survey of TE load and diversity in the putative ancient asexual ostracod <i>Darwinula stevensoni</i>. We examined long contiguous stretches of DNA in clones from a genomic fosmid library, totaling about 2.5 Mb, and supplemented these data with results on TE abundance and diversity from an Illumina draft genome. In contrast to other TE studies in putatively ancient asexuals, which revealed relatively low TE content, we found that at least 19% of the fosmid dataset and 26% of the genome assembly corresponded to known transposons. We observed a high diversity of transposon families, including LINE, gypsy, PLE, mariner/Tc, hAT, CMC, Sola2, Ginger, Merlin, Harbinger, MITEs and helitrons, with the prevalence of DNA transposons. The predominantly low levels of sequence diversity indicate that many TEs are or have recently been active. In the fosmid data, no correlation was found between telomeric repeats and non-LTR retrotransposons, which are present near telomeres in other taxa. Most TEs in the fosmid data were located outside of introns and almost none were found in exons. We also report an N-terminal Myb/SANT-like DNA-binding domain in site-specific R4/Dong non-LTR retrotransposons. Although initial results on transposable loads need to be verified with high quality draft genomes, this study provides important first insights into TE dynamics in putative ancient asexual ostracods.
Project description:We analyzed the distribution of 54 families of transposable elements (TEs; transposons, LTR retrotransposons, and non-LTR retrotransposons) in the chromosomes of Drosophila melanogaster, using data from the sequenced genome. The density of LTR and non-LTR retrotransposons (RNA-based elements) was high in regions with low recombination rates, but there was no clear tendency to parallel the recombination rate. However, the density of transposons (DNA-based elements) was significantly negatively correlated with recombination rate. The accumulation of TEs in regions of reduced recombination rate is compatible with selection acting against TEs, as selection is expected to be weaker in regions with lower recombination. The differences in the relationship between recombination rate and TE density that exist between chromosome arms suggest that TE distribution depends on specific characteristics of the chromosomes (chromatin structure, distribution of other sequences), the TEs themselves (transposition mechanism), and the species (reproductive system, effective population size, etc.), that have differing influences on the effect of natural selection acting against the TE insertions.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Transposable elements (TEs) are a rapidly evolving fraction of the eukaryotic genomes and the main contributors to genome plasticity and divergence. Recently, occupation of the A- and D-genomes of allopolyploid wheat by specific TE families was demonstrated. Here, we investigated the impact of the well-represented family of gypsy LTR-retrotransposons, Fatima, on B-genome divergence of allopolyploid wheat using the fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH) method and phylogenetic analysis. RESULTS: FISH analysis of a BAC clone (BAC_2383A24) initially screened with Spelt1 repeats demonstrated its predominant localisation to chromosomes of the B-genome and its putative diploid progenitor Aegilops speltoides in hexaploid (genomic formula, BBAADD) and tetraploid (genomic formula, BBAA) wheats as well as their diploid progenitors. Analysis of the complete BAC_2383A24 nucleotide sequence (113,605 bp) demonstrated that it contains 55.6% TEs, 0.9% subtelomeric tandem repeats (Spelt1), and five genes. LTR retrotransposons are predominant, representing 50.7% of the total nucleotide sequence. Three elements of the gypsy LTR retrotransposon family Fatima make up 47.2% of all the LTR retrotransposons in this BAC. In situ hybridisation of the Fatima_2383A24-3 subclone suggests that individual representatives of the Fatima family contribute to the majority of the B-genome specific FISH pattern for BAC_2383A24. Phylogenetic analysis of various Fatima elements available from databases in combination with the data on their insertion dates demonstrated that the Fatima elements fall into several groups. One of these groups, containing Fatima_2383A24-3, is more specific to the B-genome and proliferated around 0.5-2.5 MYA, prior to allopolyploid wheat formation. CONCLUSION: The B-genome specificity of the gypsy-like Fatima, as determined by FISH, is explained to a great degree by the appearance of a genome-specific element within this family for Ae. speltoides. Moreover, its proliferation mainly occurred in this diploid species before it entered into allopolyploidy.Most likely, this scenario of emergence and proliferation of the genome-specific variants of retroelements, mainly in the diploid species, is characteristic of the evolution of all three genomes of hexaploid wheat.