Crypt1, an active Ac-like transposon from the chestnut blight fungus, Cryphonectria parasitica
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A moderately repetitive element was identified previously in the nuclear genome of the chestnut blight fungus, Cryphonectria parasitica, and has been used as a probe for population studies of the fungus. We report here that the repetitive element is a class II transposon of the hAT family of Activator (Ac)-like transposable elements. The element, named Crypt1, has a size of 3563 bp, including 21-bp terminal inverted repeats. A unique 8-bp direct repeat sequence flanking Crypt1 was identified in each of three clones examined. A single large ORF with the potential to encode a putative transposase of 946 amino acid residues was deduced from the sequence of Crypt1. Based on amino acid sequence alignments, Crypt1 is most closely related to other Ac-like transposons of filamentous ascomycetes. A single transcript of approximately 3.0 kb was identified by Northern hybridization experiments from Crypt1-containing isolates, suggesting that Crypt1 is an active element. An isolate containing a single, possibly defective, copy of Crypt1 was identified in C. parasitica isolates from China; no Crypt1 transcript was identified in this isolate. Transposition of Crypt1 was inferred from Southern and inverse PCR analyses of C. parasitica isolates maintained in the laboratory, but transposition appears to be a rare event.
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