Two families of non-LTR retrotransposons, Syrinx and Daphne, from the Darwinulid ostracod, Darwinula stevensoni

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Schon, Isabelle
Arkhipova, Irina R.
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Mobile genetic elements
Asexual reproduction
Two novel families of non-LTR retrotransposons, named Syrinx and Daphne, were cloned and characterized in a putative ancient asexual ostracod Darwinula stevensoni. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that Daphne is the founding member of a novel clade of non-LTR retroelements, which also contains newly described families from the sea urchin and the silkworm and forms a sister clade to L2-like elements. The Syrinx family of non-LTR retrotransposons exhibits evidence of relatively recent activity, manifested in high levels of sequence similarity between individual copies and a three- to ten-fold excess of synonymous substitutions, which is indicative of purifying selection. The Daphne family may have very few copies with intact open reading frames, and exhibits neutral within-family ratio of non-synonymous to synonymous substitutions. It can additionally be characterized by formation of inverted truncated head-to-head structures. All of these features make recent activity less likely than in the Syrinx family. Our results are discussed in light of the evolutionary consequences of long-term asexuality in general and in Darwinula stevensoni in particular.
Author Posting. © The Authors, 2005. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Elsevier B.V. for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Gene 371 (2006): 296-307, doi:10.1016/j.gene.2005.12.007.
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