Dec 1, 1996

Internal eliminated sequences interrupting the Oxytricha 81 locus: allelic divergence, conservation, conversions, and possible transposon origins

Molecular Biology and Evolution
A SeegmillerG Herrick


Internal eliminated sequences (IESs) often interrupt ciliate genes in the silent germline nucleus but are exactly excised and eliminated from the developing somatic nucleus from which genes are then expressed. Some long IESs are transposons, supporting the hypothesis that short IESs are ancient transposon relics. In light of that hypothesis and to explore the evolutionary history of a collection of IESs, we have compared various alleles of a particular locus (the 81 locus) of the ciliated protozoa Oxytricha trifallax and O. fallax. Three short IESs that interrupt two genes of the locus are found in alleles from both species, and thus must be relatively ancient, consistent with the hypothesis that short IESs are transposon relics. In contrast, TBE1 transposon interruptions of the locus are allele-specific and probably the results of recent transpositions. These IESs (and the TBE1s) are precisely excised from the DNA of the developing somatic macronucleus. Each IES interrupts a highly conserved sequence. A few nucleotides at the ends of each IES are also conserved, suggesting that they interact critically with IES excision machinery. However, most IES nucleotide positions have evolved at high rates, showing little or no selective...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Direct Repeat
Conserved Sequence
Transposition of Intestine (Disorder)
DNA, Protozoan
Cell Nucleus
Cellular Transposition

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