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Evolutionary origin of Rosaceae-specific active non-autonomous hAT elements and their contribution to gene regulation and genomic structural variation

Wang, Lu, Peng, Qian, Zhao, Jianbo, Ren, Fei, Zhou, Hui, Wang, Wei, Liao, Liao, Owiti, Albert, Jiang, Quan, Han, Yuepeng
Plant molecular biology 2016 v.91 no.1-2 pp. 179-191
Prunus cerasus, gene expression, genes, non-coding RNA, peaches, regulatory sequences, sequence homology, transposons
Transposable elements account for approximately 30 % of the Prunus genome; however, their evolutionary origin and functionality remain largely unclear. In this study, we identified a hAT transposon family, termed Moshan, in Prunus. The Moshan elements consist of three types, aMoshan, tMoshan, and mMoshan. The aMoshan and tMoshan types contain intact or truncated transposase genes, respectively, while the mMoshan type is miniature inverted-repeat transposable element (MITE). The Moshan transposons are unique to Rosaceae, and the copy numbers of different Moshan types are significantly correlated. Sequence homology analysis reveals that the mMoshan MITEs are direct deletion derivatives of the tMoshan progenitors, and one kind of mMoshan containing a MuDR-derived fragment were amplified predominately in the peach genome. The mMoshan sequences contain cis-regulatory elements that can enhance gene expression up to 100-fold. The mMoshan MITEs can serve as potential sources of micro and long noncoding RNAs. Whole-genome re-sequencing analysis indicates that mMoshan elements are highly active, and an insertion into S-haplotype-specific F-box gene was reported to cause the breakdown of self-incompatibility in sour cherry. Taken together, all these results suggest that the mMoshan elements play important roles in regulating gene expression and driving genomic structural variation in Prunus.