Copy number of the transposon, Pokey, in rDNA is positively correlated with rDNA copy number in Daphnia obtuse [corrected].PLoS One. 2014; 9(12):e114773.Plos
Pokey is a class II DNA transposon that inserts into 28S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes and other genomic regions of species in the subgenus, Daphnia. Two divergent lineages, PokeyA and PokeyB have been identified. Recombination between misaligned rRNA genes changes their number and the number of Pokey elements. We used quantitative PCR (qPCR) to estimate rRNA gene and Pokey number in isolates from natural populations of Daphnia obtusa, and in clonally-propagated mutation accumulation lines (MAL) initiated from a single D. obtusa female. The change in direction and magnitude of Pokey and rRNA gene number did not show a consistent pattern across ∼ 87 generations in the MAL; however, Pokey and rRNA gene number changed in concert. PokeyA and 28S gene number were positively correlated in the isolates from both natural populations and the MAL. PokeyB number was much lower than PokeyA in both MAL and natural population isolates, and showed no correlation with 28S gene number. Preliminary analysis did not detect PokeyB outside rDNA in any isolates and detected only 0 to 4 copies of PokeyA outside rDNA indicating that Pokey may be primarily an rDNA element in D. obtusa. The recombination rate in this species is high and the average size of the rDNA locus is about twice as large as that in other Daphnia species such as D. pulicaria and D. pulex, which may have facilitated expansion of PokeyA to much higher numbers in D. obtusa rDNA than these other species.