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Mol Biol Evol. 2001 Aug;18(8):1474-83.

CsRn1, a novel active retrotransposon in a parasitic trematode, Clonorchis sinensis, discloses a new phylogenetic clade of Ty3/gypsy-like LTR retrotransposons.

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Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.


We screened the genome of a trematode, Clonorchis sinensis, in order to identify novel retrotransposons and thereby provide additional information on retrotransposons for comprehensive phylogenetic study. Considering the vast potential of retrotransposons to generate genetically variable regions among individual genomes, randomly amplified polymorphic DNAs (RAPDs) detected by arbitrarily primed polymerase chain reactions were selected as candidates for retrotransposon-related sequences. From RAPD analysis, we isolated and characterized a novel retrotransposon in C. sinensis as the first member of uncorrupted long-terminal-repeat (LTR) retrotransposons in phylum Platyhelminthes. The retrotransposon, which was named Clonorchis sinensis Retrotransposon 1 (CsRn1), showed a genomewide distribution and had a copy number of more than 100 per haploid genome. CsRn1 encoded an uninterrupted open reading frame (ORF) of 1,304 amino acids, and the deduced ORF exhibited similarities to the pol proteins of Ty3/gypsy-like LTR retrotransposons. The mobile activity of master copies was predicted by sequence analysis and confirmed by the presence of mRNA transcripts. Phylogenetic analysis of Ty3/gypsy-like LTR retrotransposons detected a new clade comprising CsRn1, Kabuki of Bombyx mori, and an uncharacterized element of Drosophila melanogaster. With its high repetitiveness and preserved mobile activity, it is proposed that CsRn1 may play a significant role in the genomic evolution of C. sinensis.

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