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Mol Biol Evol. 2005 Sep;22(9):1751-63. Epub 2005 May 18.

Unexpected diversity and differential success of DNA transposons in four species of entamoeba protozoans.

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Department of Plant Biology, The University of Georgia, USA.


We report the first comprehensive analysis of transposable element content in the compact genomes (approximately 20 Mb) of four species of Entamoeba unicellular protozoans for which draft sequences are now available. Entamoeba histolytica and Entamoeba dispar, two human parasites, have many retrotransposons, but few DNA transposons. In contrast, the reptile parasite Entamoeba invadens and the free-living Entamoeba moshkovskii contain few long interspersed elements but harbor diverse and recently amplified populations of DNA transposons. Representatives of three DNA transposase superfamilies (hobo/Activator/Tam3, Mutator, and piggyBac) were identified for the first time in a protozoan species in addition to a variety of members of a fourth superfamily (Tc1/mariner), previously reported only from ciliates and Trichomonas vaginalis among protozoans. The diversity of DNA transposons and their differential amplification among closely related species with similar compact genomes are discussed in the context of the biology of Entamoeba protozoans.

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