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Ty3/Gypsy retrotransposons in the Pacific abalone Haliotis discus hannai: characterization and use for species identification in the genus Haliotis

Sung-Il Lee, Jeong-An Gim, Min-Ji Lim, Heui-Soo Kim, Bo-Hye Nam, Nam-Soo Kim
Genes & genomics 2018 v.40 no.2 pp. 177-187
Haliotis discus hannai, abalone, genetic markers, genome, phylogeny, polymerase chain reaction, retrotransposons, species identification, terminal repeat sequences, transposons
Transposable elements are highly abundant elements that are present in all eukaryotic species. Here, we present a molecular description of abalone retrotransposon (Abret) elements. The genome of Haliotis discus hannai contains 130 Abret elements which were all Ty3/Gypsy retrotransposons. The Ty1/Copia elements were absent in the H. discus hannai genome. Most of the elements were not complete due to sequence truncation or coding region decay. However, three elements Abret-296, Abret-935, and Abret-3259 had most of the canonical features of LTR (long terminal repeat)-retrotransposons. There were several reading frame shifts in Abret-935 and Abret-3259 elements. Surprisingly, phylogenetic analysis indicated that all of the elements belonged to the Osvaldo lineage. The sequence divergence between LTRs revealed that the Abret elements were mostly active within 2 million years ago. Abret elements were used as molecular markers in SSAP analyses, which allowed clear distinction of different species in the genus Haliotis. The polymorphic markers were converted into SCAR markers for use in species identification by simple PCR in the Haliotis genus.