Molecular characterization of Vulmar1, a complete mariner transposon of sugar beet and diversity of mariner- and En/Spm-like sequences in the genus Beta.

Gunnar Jacobs, Daryna Dechyeva, Gerhard Menzel, Cora Dombrowski, Thomas Schmidt
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Genome = Génome
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Transposons of the Tc1-mariner superfamily are widespread in eukaryotic genomes. We have isolated the mariner element Vulmar1 from Beta vulgaris L., which is 3909 bp long and bordered by perfect terminal inverted repeats of 32 bp with homology to terminal inverted repeats of transposons from soybean and rice. According to a characteristic amino acid signature, Vulmar1 can be assigned to the DD39D group of mariner transposons. Vulmar1 is flanked by a 5''-TA-3'' target site duplication that is typical for mariner transposons. Southern hybridization revealed that mariner-like copies are highly abundant in Beta species, and sequence analysis of 10 transposase fragments from representative species of the four Beta sections revealed an identity between 34% and 100% after conceptual translation. By fluorescent in situ hybridization, Vulmar1 was detected in distal euchromatin as well as in some intercalary and pericentromeric regions of all B. vulgaris chromosomes. In addition, using PCR, we were able to amplify fragments of the transposase gene of En/Spm-like transposons in the genus Beta. En/Spm-like transposase sequences are highly amplified in four Beta sections and showed a considerable degree of conservation (88.5-100%) at the protein level, while the homology to corresponding regions of En/Spm transposons of other plant species ranges from 49.5% to 62.5%. By fluorescent in situ hybridization, En/Spm-like transposon signals of strong intensity were detected on all chromosomes of B. vulgaris.