Transcriptome Analysis of ESTs from a Chaetognath Reveals a Deep-Branching Clade of Retrovirus-Like Retrotransposons



Roxane M Barthélémy, Jean-Paul Casanova, Eric Faure*
LATP, CNRS-UMR 6632, Evolution biologique et modélisation, case 5, Université de Provence, Place Victor Hugo, 13331 Marseille cedex 3, France


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© Barthélémy et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/), which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the LATP, CNRS-UMR 6632, Evolution biologique et modélisation, case 5, Université de Provence, Place Victor Hugo, 13331 Marseille cedex 3, France; Tel: 00 (33) 491 10 61 77; Fax: 00 (33) 491 10 62 25; E-mail: eric.faure@univ-provence.fr


Abstract

Chaetognaths constitute a small marine phylum exhibiting several characteristic which are highly unusual in animal genomes, including two classes of both rRNA and protein ribosomal genes. As in this phylum presence of retrovirus-like elements has never been documented, analysis of a published expressed sequence tag (EST) collection of the chaetognath Spadella cephaloptera has been made. Twelve sequences representing transcript sections of reverse transcriptase domain of active retrotransposons were isolated from~11,000 ESTs. Five of them are originated from Gypsy retrovirus-like elements, whereas the other are transcripts from a Bel-Pao LTR-retrotransposon, a Penelope-like element and LINE retrotransposons. Moreover, a part of a putative integrase has also been found. Phylogenetic analyses suggest a deep-branching clade of the retrovirus-like elements, which is in agreement with the probably Cambrian origin of the phylum. Moreover, retrotransposons have not been found in telomeric-like transcripts which are probably constituted by both vertebrate and arthropod canonical repeats.

Keywords: Retrovirus-like, retrotransposons, Chaetognatha, Spadella cephaloptera, reverse transcriptase..