Complex Evolution of Tandem-Repetitive DNA in the Chironomus thummi Species Group
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The subspecies Chironomus thummi thummi and C. t. piger display dramatic differences in the copy number and chromosomal localization of a tandemly repeated DNA family (Cla elements). In order to analyze the evolutionary dynamics of this repeat family, we studied the organization of Cla elements in the related outgroup species C. luridus. We find three different patterns of Cla element organization in C. luridus, showing that Cla elements may be either strictly tandem-repetitive or be an integral part of two higher-order tandem repeats (i.e., Hinf[lur] elements, Sal[lur] elements). All three types of Cla-related repeats are localized in the centromeres of C. luridus chromosomes. This suggests that the dispersed chromosomal localization of Cla elements in C. t. thummi may be the result of an amplification and transposition during evolution of this subspecies.
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