Evolution of the transposable element Pokey in the ribosomal DNA of species in the subgenus Daphnia (Crustacea: Cladocera).Mol Biol Evol. 2004 Sep; 21(9):1727-39.MB
Pokey is a member of the piggyBac (previously called the TTAA-specific) family of transposons and inserts into a conserved region of the large subunit ribosomal RNA gene. This location is a "hot spot" for insertional activity, as it is known to contain other arthropod transposable elements. However, Pokey is unique in that it is the first DNA transposon yet known to insert into this region. All other insertions are class I non-LTR retrotransposons. This study surveyed variation in Pokey elements through phylogenetic analysis of the 3' ends of Pokey elements from ribosomal DNA (rDNA) in species from the nominate subgenus of the genus Daphnia (Crustacea: Cladocera). The results suggest that Pokey has been stably, vertically inherited within rDNA over long periods of evolutionary time. No evidence was found to support horizontal transfer, which commonly occurs in other DNA transposons, such as P and mariner. Furthermore, Pokey has diverged into sublineages that have persisted across speciation events in some groups. In addition, a new highly divergent paralogous Pokey element was discovered in the rDNA of one species.