Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Diversity of short interspersed nuclear elements (SINEs) in lepidopteran insects and evidence of horizontal SINE transfer between baculovirus and lepidopteran hosts.

Abstract

Background: Short interspersed nuclear elements (SINEs) belong to non-long terminal repeat (non-LTR) retrotransposons, which can mobilize dependent on the help of counterpart long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs). Although 234 SINEs have been identified so far, only 23 are from insect species (SINEbase: http://sines.eimb.ru/). Results: Here, five SINEs were identified from the genome of Plutella xylostella, among which PxSE1, PxSE2 and PxSE3 were tRNA-derived SINEs, PxSE4 and PxSE5 were 5S RNA-derived SINEs. A total of 18 related SINEs were further identified in 13 lepidopteran insects and a baculovirus. The 3'-tail of PxSE5 shares highly identity with that of LINE retrotransposon, PxLINE1. The analysis of relative age distribution profiles revealed that PxSE1 is a relatively young retrotransposon in the genome of P. xylostella and was generated by recent explosive amplification. Integration pattern analysis showed that SINEs in P. xylostella prefer to insert into or accumulate in introns and regions 5 kb downstream of genes. In particular, the PxSE1-like element, SlNPVSE1, in Spodoptera litura nucleopolyhedrovirus II genome is highly identical to SfSE1 in Spodoptera frugiperda, SlittSE1 in Spodoptera littoralis, and SlituSE1 in Spodoptera litura, suggesting the occurrence of horizontal transfer. Conclusions: Lepidopteran insect genomes harbor a diversity of SINEs. The retrotransposition activity and copy number of these SINEs varies considerably between host lineages and SINE lineages. Host-parasite interactions facilitate the horizontal transfer of SINE between baculovirus and its lepidopteran hosts.