This work reports the results of analyses of three complete mycoplasma genomes, a pathogenic (7448) and a nonpathogenic (J) strain of the swine pathogen Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and a strain of the avian pathogen Mycoplasma synoviae; the genome sizes of the three strains were 920,079 bp, 897,405 bp, and 799,476 bp, respectively. These genomes were compared with other sequenced mycoplasma genomes reported in the literature to examine several aspects of mycoplasma evolution. Strain-specific regions, including integrative and conjugal elements, and genome rearrangements and alterations in adhesin sequences were observed in the M. hyopneumoniae strains, and all of these were potentially related to pathogenicity. Genomic comparisons
Horizontal transfer (HT), defined as the transfer of genetic material between species, is considered to be an essential step in the 'life cycle' of transposable elements. We present a broad overview of suspected cases of HT of transposable elements in Drosophila. Hundred-one putative events of HT have been proposed in Drosophila for 21 different elements (5.0% refer to non-long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons, 42.6% to LTR retrotransposons and 52.4% to DNA transposons). We discuss the methods used to infer HT, their limits and the putative vectors of transposable elements. We outline all the alternative hypotheses and ask how we can be almost certain that phylogenetic inconsistencies are due to HT.
The genetic similarity observed among species is normally attributed to the existence of a common ancestor. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that the exchange of genetic material is not limited to the transfer from parent to offspring but can also occur through horizontal transfer (HT). Transposable elements (TEs) are DNA fragments with an innate propensity for HT; they are mobile and possess parasitic characteristics that allow them to exist and proliferate within host genomes. However, horizontal transposon transfer (HTT) is not easily detected, primarily because the complex TE life cycle can generate phylogenetic patterns similar to those expected for HTT events. The increasingly large number of new genome projects, in all branches of life, has provided an unprecedented opportunity to evaluate the TE content and HTT events in these species, although a standardized method of HTT detection is required before trends in the HTT rates can be evaluated in a wide range of eukaryotic taxa and predictions about these events can be made. Thus, we propose a straightforward hypothesis test that can be used by TE specialists and nonspecialists alike to discriminate between HTT events and natural TE life cycle patterns. We also discuss several plausible explanations and predictions for the distribution and frequency of HTT and for the inherent biases of HTT detection. Finally, we discuss some of the methodological concerns for HTT detection that may result in the underestimation and overestimation of HTT rates during eukaryotic genome evolution.
Background Trypanosoma rangeli is a hemoflagellate protozoan parasite infecting humans and other wild and domestic mammals across Central and South America. It does not cause human disease, but it can be mistaken for the etiologic agent of Chagas disease, Trypanosoma cruzi. We have sequenced the T. rangeli genome to provide new tools for elucidating the distinct and intriguing biology of this species and the key pathways related to interaction with its arthropod and mammalian hosts.Methodology/Principal FindingsThe T. rangeli haploid genome is ∼24 Mb in length, and is the smallest and least repetitive trypanosomatid genome sequenced thus far. This parasite genome has shorter subtelomeric sequences compared to those of T. cruzi and T. brucei; displays intraspecific karyotype variability and lacks minichromosomes. Of the predicted 7,613 protein coding sequences, functional annotations could be determined for 2,415, while 5,043 are hypothetical proteins, some with evidence of protein expression. 7,101 genes (93%) are shared with other trypanosomatids that infect humans. An ortholog of the dcl2 gene involved in the T. brucei RNAi pathway was found in T. rangeli, but the RNAi machinery is non-functional since the other genes in this pathway are pseudogenized. T. rangeli is highly susceptible to oxidative stress, a phenotype that may be explained by a smaller number of anti-oxidant defense enzymes and heat-shock proteins.Conclusions/SignificancePhylogenetic comparison of nuclear and mitochondrial genes indicates that T. rangeli and T. cruzi are equidistant from T. brucei. In addition to revealing new aspects of trypanosome co-evolution within the vertebrate and invertebrate hosts, comparative genomic analysis with pathogenic trypanosomatids provides valuable new information that can be further explored with the aim of developing better diagnostic tools and/or therapeutic targets.
Transposable elements (TEs) are genomic repeated sequences that display complex evolutionary patterns. They are usually inherited vertically, but can occasionally be transmitted between sexually independent species, through so-called horizontal transposon transfers (HTTs). Recurrent HTTs are supposed to be essential in life cycle of TEs, which are otherwise destined for eventual decay. HTTs also impact the host genome evolution. However, the extent of HTTs in eukaryotes is largely unknown, due to the lack of efficient, statistically supported methods that can be applied to multiple species sequence data sets. Here, we developed a new automated method available as a R package “vhica” that discriminates whether a given TE family was vertically or horizontally transferred, and potentially infers donor and receptor species. The method is well suited for TE sequences extracted from complete genomes, and applicable to multiple TEs and species at the same time. We first validated our method using Drosophila TE families with well-known evolutionary histories, displaying both HTTs and vertical transmission. We then tested 26 different lineages of mariner elements recently characterized in 20 Drosophila genomes, and found HTTs in 24 of them. Furthermore, several independent HTT events could often be detected within the same mariner lineage. The VHICA (Vertical and Horizontal Inheritance Consistence Analysis) method thus appears as a valuable tool to analyze the evolutionary history of TEs across a large range of species.
In an endeavor to contribute to the comprehension of the evolution of transposable elements (TEs) in the genome of host species, we investigated the phylogenetic relationships of sequences homologous to the retrotransposon gypsy of Drosophila melanogaster in 19 species of Drosophila, in Scaptodrosophila latifasciaeformis, and in Zaprionus indianus. This phylogenetic study was based on approximately 500 base pairs of the env gene. Our analyses showed considerable discrepancy between the phylogeny of gypsy elements and the relationship of their host species, and they allow us to infer a complex evolutionary pattern that could include ancestral polymorphism, vertical transmission, and several cases of horizontal transmission.
BackgroundThe mariner family of transposable elements is one of the most widespread in the Metazoa. It is subdivided into several subfamilies that do not mirror the phylogeny of these species, suggesting an ancient diversification. Previous hybridization and PCR studies allowed a partial survey of mariner diversity in the Metazoa. In this work, we used a comparative genomics approach to access the genus-wide diversity and evolution of mariner transposable elements in twenty Drosophila sequenced genomes.ResultsWe identified 36 different mariner lineages belonging to six distinct subfamilies, including a subfamily not described previously. Wide variation in lineage abundance and copy number were observed among species and among mariner lineages, suggesting continuous turn-over. Most mariner lineages are inactive and contain a high proportion of damaged copies. We showed that, in addition to substitutions that rapidly inactivate copies, internal deletion is a major mechanism contributing to element decay and the generation of non-autonomous sublineages. Hence, 23% of copies correspond to several Miniature Inverted-repeat Transposable Elements (MITE) sublineages, the first ever described in Drosophila for mariner. In the most successful MITEs, internal deletion is often associated with internal rearrangement, which sheds light on the process of MITE origin. The estimation of the transposition rates over time revealed that all lineages followed a similar progression consisting of a rapid amplification burst followed by a rapid decrease in transposition. We detected some instances of multiple or ongoing transposition bursts. Different amplification times were observed for mariner lineages shared by different species, a finding best explained by either horizontal transmission or a reactivation process. Different lineages within one species have also amplified at different times, corresponding to successive invasions. Finally, we detected a preference for insertion into short TA-rich regions, which appears to be specific to some subfamilies.ConclusionsThis analysis is the first comprehensive survey of this family of transposable elements at a genus scale. It provides precise measures of the different evolutionary processes that were hypothesized previously for this family based on PCR data analysis. mariner lineages were observed at almost all “life cycle” stages: recent amplification, subsequent decay and potential (re)-invasion or invasion of genomes.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-727) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Despite previous efforts, the evolutionary history of the immigrans-tripunctata clade remains obscure in part due to its hypothesized origin through a rapid radiation. We performed a supermatrix analysis (3,243 base pairs) coupled with richness patterns, environmental phylogenetic signal and radiation tests in order to address phylogenetic relationships and macro-evolutionary hypotheses within this complex group of species. We propose a well-supported evolutionary scenario for the immigrans-tripunctata clade species, in which the tripunctata "radiation" was monophyletic and subdivided into three main lineages: the first including D. pallidipennis (pallidipennis group) imbedded among members of the tripunctata group; the second clustering the cardini and guarani groups; and the third grouping representatives from the tripunctata, calloptera and guaramunu groups. Therefore, we hypothesize that the tripunctata group encompasses a diphyletic taxon, with one clade including the pallidipennis group and the other showing a close affinity to the calloptera and guaramunu groups. Our results also suggest that niche evolution seems to have played a central role in the evolutionary history of the tripunctata species "radiation" allowing effective dispersion and diversification in the Neotropics, possibly in a southwards direction. Although the data as a whole support the notion that this occurred through rapid and successive speciation events, the radiation hypothesis remains to be further corroborated.
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