Horizontal transfer of a novel Helentron in insects
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Helentrons represent a novel subtype of Helitrons. However, the evolutionary history of Helentrons in organisms is not clearly understood. In this study, we performed structure and autonomous partner analyses, which revealed that bm_455, a TE obtained from the Bombyx mori TE database, BmTEdb, was a member of Helentrons but not a long-terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposon. Further analyses showed that bm_455 was also present in a wide range of insects including lepidopterans, coleopterans and hymenopterans using a homology-based search strategy. Several lines of evidence (high sequence identity, discontinuous distribution and lack of intense purifying selection) suggested that these elements could have been transferred into these species in part by horizontal transfers (HTs). Because Helentrons can capture host gene fragments, HTs of Helentrons might have a huge impact on their host genome evolution.
KeywordsHorizontal transfer Helentrons Insects
This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31560308 and 31401106), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangxi Province (20161BAB214151) and the Hi-Tech Research and Development (863) Program of China (2013AA102507).
Compliance with ethical standards
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
Conflict of interest
HHZ declares that he has no conflict of interest. GYL declares that he has no conflict of interest. XMX declares that she has no conflict of interest. MJH declares that he has no conflict of interest. FYD declares that he has no conflict of interest.
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