The CACTA transposon Bot1 played a major role in Brassica genome divergence and gene proliferation


  • The TE sequences reported in this paper have been deposited in the EMBL database under accessions nos AM888354AM888369; the three Brassica oleracea BAC sequences have been deposited under accessions nos EU642504EU642506.

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We isolated and characterized a Brassica C genome-specific CACTA element, which was designated Bot1 (Brassica oleracea transposon 1). After analysing phylogenetic relationships, copy numbers and sequence similarity of Bot1 and Bot1 analogues in B. oleracea (C genome) versus Brassica rapa (A genome), we concluded that Bot1 has encountered several rounds of amplification in the oleracea genome only, and has played a major role in the recent rapa and oleracea genome divergence. We performed in silico analyses of the genomic organization and internal structure of Bot1, and established which segment of Bot1 is C-genome specific. Our work reports a fully characterized Brassica repetitive sequence that can distinguish the Brassica A and C chromosomes in the allotetraploid Brassica napus, by fluorescent in situ hybridization. We demonstrated that Bot1 carries a host S locus-associated SLL3 gene copy. We speculate that Bot1 was involved in the proliferation of SLL3 around the Brassica genome. The present study reinforces the assumption that transposons are a major driver of genome and gene evolution in higher plants.