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FEMS Yeast Res. 2011 Jun;11(4):334-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1567-1364.2011.00721.x. Epub 2011 Feb 18.

The Ty1 LTR-retrotransposon population in Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome: dynamics and sequence variations during mobility.

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Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire, Génomique et Microbiologie UMR7156 (Université de Strasbourg and CNRS), Strasbourg, France.


Transposable element (TE) evolution in genomes has mostly been deduced from comparative genome analyses. TEs often account for a large proportion of the eukaryotic nuclear genome (up to 50%, depending on the species). Among the many existing genomic copies, only a small fraction may contribute to the mobility of a TE family. We have identified here, using a genetic screening procedure to trap Ty1 long terminal repeat-retrotransposon insertions in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which among the populations of resident Ty1 copies are responsible for Ty1 mobility. Although the newly inserted Ty1 copies resulting from a single round of transposition were found to originate from a limited subset of Ty1 resident copies, they showed a high degree of diversity at the nucleotide level, mainly due to the reverse transcription-mediated recombination. In this process, highly expressed and strikingly nonautonomous mutant Ty1 were found to be the most frequently used resident copies, which suggests that nonautonomous elements play a key role in the dynamics of the Ty1 family.

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