LTR-TEs abundance, timing and mobility in Solanum commersonii and S. tuberosum genomes following cold-stress conditions.Planta. 2019 Nov; 250(5):1781-1787.P
Copia/Ale is the youngest lineage in both Solanum tuberosum and S. commersonii. Within it, we identified nightshade, a new LTR element active in the cultivated potato. From an evolutionary perspective, long-terminal repeat retrotransposons (LTR-RT) activity during stress may be viewed as a mean by which organisms can keep up rates of genetic adaptation to changing conditions. Potato is one of the most important crop consumed worldwide, but studies on LTR-RT characterization are still lacking. Here, we assessed the abundance, insertion time and activity of LTR-RTs in both cultivated Solanum tuberosum and its cold-tolerant wild relative S. commersonii genomes. Gypsy elements were more abundant than Copia ones, suggesting that the former was somehow more successful in colonizing potato genomes. However, Copia elements, and in particular, the Ale lineage, are younger than Gypsy ones, since their insertion time was in average ~ 2 Mya. Due to the ability of LTR-RTs to be circularized by the host DNA repair mechanisms, we identified via mobilome-seq a Copia/Ale element (called nightshade, informal name used for potato family) active in S. tuberosum genome. Our analyses represent a valuable resource for comparative genomics within the Solanaceae, transposon-tagging and for the design of cultivar-specific molecular markers in potato.