Ticks have R2 retrotransposons but not the consensus transposon target site of other arthropods.Insect Mol Biol. 2005 Oct; 14(5):465-74.IM
Some copies of the large subunit rRNA genes (LSU rDNA) of most arthropods studied to date are inactivated by R-element retrotransposons at a specific target region that is highly conserved in sequence across all kingdoms of organisms. Here we report finding R2 elements in low copy numbers in the LSU rDNA of hard and soft ticks. Although the elements were inserted at the same LSU rDNA location as in insects, there were substitutions in the consensus R2 endonuclease cleavage site in the ticks and some other parasitiform mites. The substituted region comprises a critical contact point with small subunit rRNA, but in vitro structure probing analysis revealed novel, presumably stabilizing base-pairing.