New satellite DNA in Lacerta s. str. lizards (Sauria: Lacertidae): Evolutionary pathways and phylogenetic impact

Authors

  • Doina Ciobanu,

    Corresponding author
    1. Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, Russian Academy of Science, 119991, Moscow, Russia
    2. Institute of Genetics, Academy of Sciences of Moldova, 111120, Kishinev, Moldova
    • Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, Russian Academy of Science, 119991, Moscow, Russia
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  • Vernata V. Grechko,

    1. Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, Russian Academy of Science, 119991, Moscow, Russia
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  • Ilya S. Darevsky,

    1. Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, 199034, St.Petersburg, Russia
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  • Dmitri A. Kramerov

    1. Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, Russian Academy of Science, 119991, Moscow, Russia
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Abstract

A new tandemly repeated (satellite) DNA family namely Agi160, from Lacerta agilis and Lacerta strigata (Lacerta sensu stricto (s. str.), Linnaeus 1758) have been cloned and sequenced. Agi160 is found in the above two species, as well as two other representatives of the same genus, L. viridis and L. media. DNA hybridization did not reveal it in Darevskia, Podarcis, Zootoca, Eremias, Ophisops, and Gallotia – the other genera of the family Lacertidae. The results suggest that Agi160 is a Lacerta s. str. specific family of tandem DNA repeats. However, a comparison between sequences of Agi160 and CLsat repeat units revealed 60 bp regions 62–74% identical. The latter is a satellite DNA family typical for Darevskia (syn. “L. saxicola complex”) (Grechko et al., Molecular-genetic classification and phylogenetic relatedness of some species of Lacertidae lizards by taxonoprint data. Mol Biol 32:172–183, 1988.). Both Agi160 and CLsat tandem repeats share several common features (e.g., the same AT content and distribution of multiple short A-T runs, internal structure of repeated units, the presence of conservative regions). These data are indicative of their common origin and a possibly strong selective pressure upon conserving both satellites. A comparative analysis of structure, organization, and abundance of these two families of satDNA reveals evolutionary pathways that led to their formation and divergence. The data are consistent with the hypotheses of the concerted evolution of satellite DNA families. The possibility of use of Agi160 as a phylogenetic tool, defining relationships within Lacerta s. str., as well as within the whole family of Lacertidae is discussed. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 000:1–12, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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