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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Genome-wide analysis of intraspecific transposon diversity in yeast

Claudine Bleykasten-Grosshans*, Anne Friedrich and Joseph Schacherer

Author Affiliations

CNRS, Department of Genetics, Genomics and Microbiology, University of Strasbourg, UMR 7156, 28, rue Goethe, Strasbourg, 67083, France

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BMC Genomics 2013, 14:399  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-399

Published: 14 June 2013

Abstract

Background

In the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the transposable elements (TEs) consist of LTR (Long Terminal Repeat) retrotransposons called Ty elements belonging to five families, Ty1 to Ty5. They take the form of either full-length coding elements or non-coding solo-LTRs corresponding to remnants of former transposition events. Although the biological features of Ty elements have been studied in detail in S. cerevisiae and the Ty content of the reference strain (S288c) was accurately annotated, the Ty-related intra-specific diversity has not been closely investigated so far.

Results

In this study, we investigated the Ty contents of 41 available genomes of isolated S. cerevisiae strains of diverse geographical and ecological origins. The strains were compared in terms of the number of Ty copies, the content of the potential transpositionally active elements and the genomic insertion maps. The strain repertoires were also investigated in the closely related Ty1 and Ty2 families and subfamilies.

Conclusions

This is the first genome-wide analysis of the diversity associated to the Ty elements, carried out for a large set of S. cerevisiae strains. The results of the present analyses suggest that the current Ty-related polymorphism has resulted from multiple causes such as differences between strains, between Ty families and over time, in the recent transpositional activity of Ty elements. Some new Ty1 variants were also identified, and we have established that Ty1 variants have different patterns of distribution among strains, which further contributes to the strain diversity.

Keywords:
Transposons; Retrotransposons; Ty elements; Ty1; Intra-specific diversity; Genome evolution; Saccharomyces cerevisiae