Recent CR1 non-LTR retrotransposon activity in coscoroba reveals an insertion site preference
Rocky Mountain Center for Conservation Genetics and Systematics, Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Denver, Denver, Colorado, USA
BMC Genomics 2008, 9:567 doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-567Published: 27 November 2008
Chicken repeat 1 (CR1) is a taxonomically widespread non-LTR retrotransposon. Insertion site bias, or lack thereof, has not been demonstrated for CR1. Recent CR1 retrotranspositions were used to examine flanking regions for GC content and nucleotide bias at the insertion site.
Elucidation of the exact octomer repeat sequence (TTCTGTGA) allowed for the identification of younger insertion events. The number of octomer repeats associated with a CR1 element increases after insertion with CR1s having one octomer being youngest. These young CR1s are flanked by regions of low GC content (38%). Furthermore, a bias for specific bases within the first four positions at the site of insertion was revealed.
This study focused on those loci where the insertion event has been most recent, as this would tend to minimize noise introduced by post-integration mutational events. Our data suggest that CR1 is not inserting into regions of higher GC content within the coscoroba genome; but rather, preferentially inserting into regions of lower GC content. Furthermore, there appears to be a base preference (TTCT) for the insertion site. The results of this study increase the current level of understanding regarding the elusive CR1 non-LTR retrotransposon.