Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Genome Biology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research

A search for reverse transcriptase-coding sequences reveals new non-LTR retrotransposons in the genome of Drosophila melanogaster

Eugene Berezikov1, Alain Bucheton2 and Isabelle Busseau2*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Prospect Lavrentjeva 10, Novosibirsk 630090, Russia

2 Institut de Génétique Humaine, CNRS, rue de la Cardonille, Montpellier cedex 5, France

For all author emails, please log on.

Genome Biology 2000, 1:research0012-research0012.15  doi:10.1186/gb-2000-1-6-research0012

Published: 4 December 2000

Abstract

Background

Non-long terminal repeat (non-LTR) retrotransposons are eukaryotic mobile genetic elements that transpose by reverse transcription of an RNA intermediate. We have performed a systematic search for sequences matching the characteristic reverse transcriptase domain of non-LTR retrotransposons in the sequenced regions of the Drosophila melanogaster genome.

Results

In addition to previously characterized BS, Doc, F, G, I and Jockey elements, we have identified new non-LTR retrotransposons: Waldo, You and JuanDm. Waldo elements are related to mosquito RTI elements. You to the Drosophila I factor, and JuanDm to mosquito Juan-A and Juan-C. Interestingly, all JuanDm elements are highly homogeneous in sequence, suggesting that they are recent components of the Drosophila genome.

Conclusions

The genome of D. melanogaster contains at least ten families of non-site-specific non-LTR retrotransposons representing three distinct clades. Many of these families contain potentially active members. Fine evolutionary analyses must await the more accurate sequences that are expected in the next future.