Nouroz F, Noreen S, Khan MF, Ahmed S, Heslop-Harrison JS. 2017. Identification and characterization of mobile genetic elements LINEs from Brassica genomes. Gene in press June 2017.
Among transposable elements (TEs), the LTR retrotransposons are abundant followed by nonLTR retrotransposons in plant genomes, the lateral being represented by LINEs and SINEs. Computational and molecular approaches were used for the characterization of Brassica LINEs, their diversity and phylogenetic relationships. Four autonomous and four nonautonomous LINE families were identified and characterized from Brassica. Most of the autonomous LINEs displayed two open reading frames, ORF1 and ORF2, where ORF1 is a gag protein domain, while ORF2 encodes endonuclease (EN) and a reverse transcriptase (RT). Three of four families encoded an additional RNase H (RH) domain in pol gene common to ‘R’ and ‘I’ type of LINEs. The PCR analyses based on LINEs RT fragments indicate their high diversity and widespread occurrence in tested 40 Brassica cultivars. Database searches revealed the homology in LINE sequences in closely related genera Arabidopsis indicating their origin from common ancestors predating their separation. The alignment of 58 LINEs RT sequences from Brassica, Arabidopsis and other plants depicted 4 conserved domains (domain II-V) showing similarity to previously detected domains. Based on RT alignment of Brassica and 3 known LINEs from monocots, Brassicaceae LINEs clustered in separate clade, further resolving 4 Brassica-Arabidopsis specific families in 2 sub-clades. High similarities were
observed in RT sequences in the members of same family, while low homology was detected in members across the families. The investigation led to the characterization of Brassica specific LINE families and their diversity across Brassica species and their cultivars.
Keywords: Retrotransposons, Brassica, LINEs, Reverse transcriptase, Diversity, Phylogeny.