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Open Access Research article

Identification and characterization of Tc1/mariner-like DNA transposons in genomes of the pathogenic fungi of the Paracoccidioides species complex

Marjorie M Marini1, Tamiris Zanforlin2, Patrícia C Santos1, Roberto RM Barros2, Anne CP Guerra1, Rosana Puccia2, Maria SS Felipe3, Marcelo Brigido3, Célia MA Soares4, Jerônimo C Ruiz5, José F Silveira2 and Patrícia S Cisalpino1*

Author Affiliations

1 Departamento de Microbiologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, 31270-901 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

2 Departamento de Microbiologia, Imunologia e Parasitologia, Escola Paulista de Medicina, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, 04023-062 São Paulo, SP, Brazil

3 Laboratório de Biologia Molecular, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Goiás, 74001-970 Goiânia, GO, Brazil

4 Laboratório de Biologia Molecular, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade de Brasília, 70910-900 Brasília, DF, Brazil

5 Centro de Pesquisas René Rachou, FIOCRUZ, 30190-002 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

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BMC Genomics 2010, 11:130  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-130

Published: 23 February 2010

Abstract

Background

Paracoccidioides brasiliensis (Eukaryota, Fungi, Ascomycota) is a thermodimorphic fungus, the etiological agent of paracoccidioidomycosis, the most important systemic mycoses in Latin America. Three isolates corresponding to distinct phylogenetic lineages of the Paracoccidioides species complex had their genomes sequenced. In this study the identification and characterization of class II transposable elements in the genomes of these fungi was carried out.

Results

A genomic survey for DNA transposons in the sequence assemblies of Paracoccidioides, a genus recently proposed to encompass species P. brasiliensis (harboring phylogenetic lineages S1, PS2, PS3) and P. lutzii (Pb01-like isolates), has been completed. Eight new Tc1/mariner families, referred to as Trem (Transposable element mariner), labeled A through H were identified. Elements from each family have 65-80% sequence similarity with other Tc1/mariner elements. They are flanked by 2-bp TA target site duplications and different termini. Encoded DDD-transposases, some of which have complete ORFs, indicated that they could be functionally active. The distribution of Trem elements varied between the genomic sequences characterized as belonging to P. brasiliensis (S1 and PS2) and P. lutzii. TremC and H elements would have been present in a hypothetical ancestor common to P. brasiliensis and P. lutzii, while TremA, B and F elements were either acquired by P. brasiliensis or lost by P. lutzii after speciation. Although TremD and TremE share about 70% similarity, they are specific to P. brasiliensis and P. lutzii, respectively. This suggests that these elements could either have been present in a hypothetical common ancestor and have evolved divergently after the split between P. brasiliensis and P. Lutzii, or have been independently acquired by horizontal transfer.

Conclusions

New families of Tc1/mariner DNA transposons in the genomic assemblies of the Paracoccidioides species complex are described. Families were distinguished based on significant BLAST identities between transposases and/or TIRs. The expansion of Trem in a putative ancestor common to the species P. brasiliensis and P. lutzii would have given origin to TremC and TremH, while other elements could have been acquired or lost after speciation had occurred. The results may contribute to our understanding of the organization and architecture of genomes in the genus Paracoccidioides.