, Volume 124, Issue 1, pp 1–10 | Cite as

Repetitive DNA in the automictic fungus Microbotryum violaceum

  • Michael E. HoodEmail author


The small genomes of fungi are expected to have little repetitive content other than rDNA genes. Moreover, among asexual or highly selfing lineages, the diversity of repetitive elements is also expected to be very low. However, in the automictic fungus Microbotryum violaceum, a very large proportion of random DNA fragments from the autosomes and the fungal sex chromosomes are repetitive in nature, either as retrotransposon or helicase sequences. Among the retrotransposon sequences, examples were found from each major kind of elements, including copia, gypsy, and non-LTR sequences. The most numerous were copia-like elements, which are believed to be rare in fungi, particularly among basidiomycetes. The many helicase sequences appear to belong to the recently discovered Helitron type of transposable elements. Also, sequences that could not be identified as a known type of gene were also very repetitive within the database of random fragments from M. violaceum. The differentiated pair of fungal sex chromosomes and suppression of recombination may be the major forces determining the highly repetitive content in the small genome of M. violaceum.


Anther-smut disease automixis genome size sex chromosome evolution transposable elements 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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