Dd34e Dna Transposable Elements of Mosquitoes: Whole-Genome Survey, Evolution, and Transposition
Coy, Monique Royer
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Transposable elements (TEs) are mobile genetic elements capable of replicating and spreading within, and in some cases, between genomes. I describe a whole-genome analysis of DD34E TEs, which belong to the IS630-Tc1-mariner superfamily of DNA transposable elements, in the African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. Twenty-six new transposons as well as a new family, gambol, were identified. The gambol family shares the DD34E catalytic motif with Tc1-DD34E transposons, but is distinct from these elements in their phylogenetic relationships. Although gambol appears to be related to a few DD34E transposons from cyanobacteria and fungi, no gambol elements have been reported in any other insects or animals thus far. This discovery expands the already expansive diversity of the IS630-Tc1-mariner TEs, and raises interesting questions as to the origin of gambol elements and their apparent diversity in An. gambiae. Several DD34E transposons discovered in An. gambiae possess characteristics that are associated with recent transposition, such as high sequence identity between copies, and intact terminal-inverted repeats and open reading frames. One such element, AgTango, was also found in a distantly related mosquito species, Aedes aegypti, at high amino acid sequence identity (79.9%). It was discovered that Tango transposons have patchy distribution among twelve mosquito species surveyed using PCR as well as genomic searches, suggesting a possible case for horizontal transfer. Additionally, it was discovered that in some mosquito genomes, there are several Tango transposons. These observations suggest differential evolutionary scenarios and/or TE-host interaction of Tango elements between mosquito species. This strengthened the case that AgTango may be a functional transposase, and I sought to test its potential activity in a cell culture-based inter-plasmid transposition assay using the Herves plasmids as a positive control (Arensburger et al., 2005). AgTango constructs were successfully constructed; however, no transposition events were detected for Tango or Herves. Because the positive control failed to work, no assessment can be made concerning Tango's transposase. Possible causes and solutions for these results, alternative means to detect transposition, as well as future directions with Tango are discussed.
- Doctoral Dissertations