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Two new miniature inverted-repeat transposable elements in the genome of the clam Donax trunculus

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Repetitive sequences are important components of eukaryotic genomes that drive their evolution. Among them are different types of mobile elements that share the ability to spread throughout the genome and form interspersed repeats. To broaden the generally scarce knowledge on bivalves at the genome level, in the clam Donax trunculus we described two new non-autonomous DNA transposons, miniature inverted-repeat transposable elements (MITEs), named DTC M1 and DTC M2. Like other MITEs, they are characterized by their small size, their A + T richness, and the presence of terminal inverted repeats (TIRs). DTC M1 and DTC M2 are 261 and 286 bp long, respectively, and in addition to TIRs, both of them contain a long imperfect palindrome sequence in their central parts. These elements are present in complete and truncated versions within the genome of the clam D. trunculus. The two new MITEs share only structural similarity, but lack any nucleotide sequence similarity to each other. In a search for related elements in databases, blast search revealed within the Crassostrea gigas genome a larger element sharing sequence similarity only to DTC M1 in its TIR sequences. The lack of sequence similarity with any previously published mobile elements indicates that DTC M1 and DTC M2 elements may be unique to D. trunculus.

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This work was supported by Research Fund of Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of Republic of Croatia, Project No. 098-0982913-2756. We would like to thank two anonymous reviewers on helpful suggestions for improving the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Eva Šatović.

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C. gigas genomic fragments showing similarity to parts of of DTC M1element (TIF 9967 KB)


Extractions from two C. gigas genomic fragments sharing TIR similarity with DTC M1 element. These sequences share longer TIRs (orange) which overlap with 37 bp-long TIRs from DTC M1 only in 28 bp (yellow). One fragment harbors an additional insertion of an 618 bp-long sequence, surrounded by its own TIRs (red) (TIF 10205 KB)

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Šatović, E., Plohl, M. Two new miniature inverted-repeat transposable elements in the genome of the clam Donax trunculus . Genetica 145, 379–385 (2017).

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  • Genome evolution
  • Transposable elements
  • MITE
  • Bivalve
  • Donax trunculus