Apr 28, 2020

The Enterprise: A massive transposon carrying Spok meiotic drive genes

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Jukka-Pekka VertaHanna Johannesson


The genomes of eukaryotes are full of parasitic sequences known as transposable elements (TEs). Most TEs studied to date are relatively small (50 -- 12000 bp), but can contribute to very large proportions of genomes. Here we report the discovery of a giant tyrosine-recombinase-mobilized DNA transposon, Enterprise, from the model fungus Podospora anserina. Previously, we described a large genomic feature called the Spok block which is notable due to the presence of meiotic drive genes of the Spok gene family. The Spok block ranges from 110 kb to 247 kb and can be present in at least four different genomic locations within P. anserina, despite what is an otherwise highly conserved genome structure. We have determined that the reason for its varying positions is that the Spok block is not only capable of meiotic drive, but is also capable of transposition. More precisely, the Spok block represents a unique case where the Enterprise has captured the Spoks, thereby parasitizing a resident genomic parasite to become a genomic hyperparasite. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Enterprise (without the Spoks) is found in other fungal lineages, where it can be as large as 70 kb. Lastly, we provide experimental evidence that the Spok block i...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Biological Neural Networks
Transcription, Genetic
Gene Expression
Wild bird
Haploid Cell
Female Gametophytes
Gene Regulatory Networks

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