Poster Presentation Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution Conference 2016

Transposons horizontally transferred between parastitic plants and hostsĀ are still actively expressed in some recipients (#697)

Ting Sun 1 , Yuxing Xu 1 , Yan Qin 1 , Guiling Sun 1
  1. Kunming Institute of Botany, CAS, Kunming, YUNNAN, China

Growing evidence is pointing to an important role of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in the evolution of higher plants. However, reports of HGTs of transposable elements (TEs) in plants are still scarce, and only one case is known of a class II transposon horizontally transferred in grasses. To investigate possible TE transfers in dicots, we performed transcriptome screening in the obligate root parasite Phelipanche aegyptiaca (Orobanchaceae), data-mining in the draft genome assemblies of four other Orobanchaceae, gene cloning, gene annotation in species with genomic information, and a molecular phylogenetic analysis. We discovered that the broomrape genera Phelipanche and Orobanche acquired two related nuclear genes (christened BO transposase genes), a new group of the hAT superfamily of class II transposons, from Asian Sisymbrieae or a closely related tribe of Brassicaceae, by HGT. The lack of a classic border structure and low expression levels suggest that BO transposase genes rarely transpose in Brassicaceae, whereas their high transcriptional levels in P. aegyptiaca imply that they are still able to transpose or act as functional genes.