, Volume 55, Issue 6, pp 664-673

Pokey, a New DNA Transposon in Daphnia (Cladocera: Crustacea)

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

We report the complete sequence of two representatives of the transposable element, Pokey, isolated from the ribosomal DNA of the cladoceran, Daphnia pulicaria. We describe the general features of this element, which confirms its classification as a DNA transposon. We show that Pokey is similar to piggyBac and, as such, is a member of the TTAA-specific family of elements. Pokey is putatively autonomous, possessing an open reading frame that encodes a putative protein with similarity to piggyBac's transposase, in addition to putative proteins from Drosophila and human LOOPER elements, and several human proteins of unknown function. We show that these proteins all contain amino acid motifs that are perhaps conserved for similar functions. We demonstrate that Pokey is carrying several regions of similarity to Daphnia pulex IGS sequences, likely the result of some sort of recombination event with the host genome. Pokey inserts into a conserved region of the large subunit ribosomal RNA gene known to contain other arthropod elements, suggesting that this location is a hot spot for insertional activity. However, Pokey is unique in that it is the only DNA transposon yet known to insert into this region, as other such insertions are non-LTR retrotransposons. It is now clear that this "ecological niche" has been effectively exploited by both retrotransposons and DNA transposons.