Characterization of the repetitive sequences in a 200-kb region around the rice waxy locus: diversity of transposable elements and presence of veiled repetitive sequences
Genes & Genetic Systems
Repetitive genomic sequences might have various structural features and properties distinct from those of the known transposable elements (TE). Here, the content and properties of the repetitive sequences present in a 200-kb region around the rice waxy locus were analyzed using the available rice genomic database. In our previous Southern blotting analysis, 70% of the segments in this region showed smeared patterns, but according to the present database analysis, the proportion of repetitive
... uences in this region was only 15%. The repetitive segments in this 200-kb region comprised 75 repetitive sequences that we classified into 46 subfamilies: 21 subfamilies were known TEs or repetitive sequences and 25 subfamilies consisted of newly identified TEs or novel types of repetitive sequences. The region contains no long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposable elements, but miniature inverted repeat transposable elements (MITEs) constituted a major class among the elements identified. These MITEs showed remarkable structural divergence: 12 elements were found to be new members of known MITE superfamilies, while five elements had novel terminal structures, and did not belong to any known TE families. Interestingly, about 10% of the repetitive sequences, including virus-like sequences did not have any of the usual characteristics of TEs, suggesting that a certain proportion of repetitive sequences that might not share the transpositional mechanisms of known elements are dispersed in the compact rice genome.