Evolutionary analysis of the CACTA DNA-transposon Caspar across wheat species using sequence comparison and in situ hybridization.Mol Genet Genomics. 2010 Jul; 284(1):11-23.MG
Mobile elements constitute a considerable part of the eukaryotic genome. This work is focused on the distribution and evolution of DNA-transposons in the genomes of diploid and allopolyploid Triticeae species and their role in the formation of functionally important chromosomal subtelomeric regions. The Caspar family is among the most abundant of CACTA DNA-transposons in Triticeae. To study the evolution of Caspar-like elements in Triticeae genomes, we analyzed their sequences and distribution in chromosomes by in situ hybridization. In total, 46 Caspar-like elements from the wheat and barley Caspar, Clifford, and Donald families were analyzed after being extracted from databases using the transposase consensus sequence. Sequence alignment and subsequent phylogenetic analyses revealed that the transposase DNA sequences formed three major distinct groups: (1) Clifford, (2) Caspar_Triticinae, and (3) Caspar_Hordeinae. Additionally, in situ hybridization demonstrated that Caspar_Triticinae transposons are predominantly compartmentalized in the subtelomeric chromosomal regions of wheat and its progenitors. Analysis of data suggested that compartmentalization in the subtelomeric chromosomal region was a characteristic feature of all the main groups of Caspar-like elements. Furthermore, a dot plot analysis of the terminal repeats demonstrated that the divergence of these repeats strictly correlated with the divergence of Caspar coding sequences. A clear distinction in the Caspar DNA sequences among the species Triticum/Aegilops (Caspar_Triticinae), Hordeum (Caspar_Hordeinae), and different distributions in individual hexaploid wheat genomes (A/B and D) suggest an independent proliferation of these elements in wheat (or its progenitors) and barley genomes. Thus, Caspar-like transposons can significantly contribute to the formation and differentiation of subtelomeric regions in Triticeae species.