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Kapitonov, V.V., Jurka, J. (2003). Molecular paleontology of transposable elements in the Drosophila melanogaster genome.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 100(11): 6569--6574.
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Research paper

We report here a superfamily of "cut and paste" DNA transposons called Transib. These transposons populate the Drosophila melanogaster and Anopheles gambiae genomes, use a transposase that is not similar to any known proteins, and are characterized by 5-bp target site duplications. We found that the fly genome, which was thought to be colonized by the P element <100 years ago, harbors approximately 5 million year (Myr)-old fossils of ProtoP, an ancient ancestor of the P element. We also show that Hoppel, a previously reported transposable element (TE), is a nonautonomous derivate of ProtoP. We found that the "rolling-circle" Helitron transposons identified previously in plants and worms populate also insect genomes. Our results indicate that Helitrons were horizontally transferred into the fly or/and mosquito genomes. We have also identified a most abundant TE in the fly genome, DNAREP1_DM, which is an approximately 10-Myr-old footprint of a Penelope-like retrotransposon. We estimated that TEs are three times more abundant than reported previously, making up approximately 22% of the whole genome. The chromosomal and age distributions of TEs in D. melanogaster are very similar to those in Arabidopsis thaliana. Both genomes contain only relatively young TEs (<20 Myr old), constituting a main component of paracentromeric regions.

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PMC164487 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
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