Genome dynamics and chromosomal localization of the non-LTR retrotransposons Rex1 and Rex3 in Antarctic fish
The non-long terminal repeat retrotransposons Rex1 and Rex3 were identified in 13 species of Antarctic fishes from five families of the suborder Notothenioidei. Partial reverse transcriptase gene sequences were characterized for Notothenia coriiceps, Trematomus newnesi and Dissostichus mawsoni (Nototheniidae), and Gymnodraco acuticeps (Bathydraconidae). Rex1 and Rex3 both formed a notothenioid-specific monophyletic group compared to the corresponding elements from other fishes. They globally evolved under purifying selection, showing their activity during notothenioid evolution. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis of the chromosomal distribution of Rex1 and Rex3 was performed for several notothenioid fish species. Rex1 was generally less abundant than Rex3, which was widely scattered on the chromosomes with more intense hybridization patterns in some specific zones. Particularly, Rex3 accumulated in Chionodraco hamatus in pericentromeric areas, short arms of some pairs as well as in an intercalary band in the long arm of the Y chromosome similarly to a previously described DNA transposon. Such pattern similarities suggest the presence of autosomal and gonosomal regions of preferential accumulation for different types of repeated elements in notothenioid genomes. To the best of our knowledge, this report is the first description and analysis of retrotransposable elements in Antarctic fish genomes.(Received May 6 2003)
(Accepted July 8 2003)
Key Words: evolution; fluorescence in situ hybridization; Notothenioidei; retrotransposable elements.
c1 Corresponding author: email@example.com