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Keywords:

  • horizontal transfer;
  • transposable element;
  • transposase;
  • hobo

Abstract

In this study we characterize the transposable elements harrow, which belong to the hAT superfamily of DNA transposons. Searches for harrow sequences were performed in 65 Drosophilidae species, mainly representing Neotropical and cosmopolitan groups from the genus Drosophila. The nucleotide divergence among elements found in these species suggests that harrow sequences could be clustered in a subfamily. The patchy distribution throughout the genus Drosophila and the high similarity presented between all harrow sequences indicate that horizontal transfer could play a major role in the evolution of harrow elements. The results obtained suggest an evolutionary scenario in which harrow would have undergone multiple horizontal transfer events in the Neotropics, involving D. tripuncatata, D. mojavensis (Subgenus Drosophila) and several species of the willistoni and saltans groups (subgenus Sophophora).