Characterization and diversity of novel PIF/Harbinger DNA transposons in Brassica genomes

331. Nouroz F, Noreen S, Heslop-Harrison J.S. 2016. Characterization and diversity of novel PIF/Harbinger DNA transposons in Brassica genomes. Pakistani Journal of Botany 48(1): 167-178.

Among DNA transposons, PIF/Harbinger is most recently identified superfamily characterized by 3 bp target site duplications (TSDs), flanked by 14-45 bp terminal inverted repeats (TIRs) and displaying DDD or DDE domain displaying transposase. Their autonomous elements contain two open reading frames, ORF1 and ORF2 encoding superfamily specific transposase and DNA-binding domain. Harbinger DNA transposons are recently identified in few plants. In present study, computational and molecular approaches were used for the identification of 8 Harbinger transposons, of which only 2 were complete with putative transposase, while rest 6 lack transposase and are considered as defective or non-autonomous elements. They ranged in size from 0.5-4 kb with 3 bp TSDs, 15-42 bp TIRs and internal AT rich regions. The PCR amplification of Brassica Harbinger transposase revealed diversity and ancient nature of these elements. The amplification polymorphism of some non-autonomous Harbingers showed species specific distribution. Phylogenetic analyses of transposase clustered them into two clades (monocot and dicot) and five sub-clades. The Brassica, Arabidopsis and Malus transposase clustered into genera specific sub-clades; although a lot of homology in transposase was observed. The multiple sequence alignment of Brassica and related transposase showed homology in five conserved blocks. The DD35E triad and sequences showed similarity to already known Pong-like or Arabidopsis ATISI12 Harbinger transposase in contrast to other transposase having DD47E or DD48E motifs. The present study will be helpful in the characterization of Harbingers, their structural diversity in related genera and Harbinger based molecular markers for varietal/lines identification.

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