Newly discovered young CORE-SINEs in marsupial genomes

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Although recent mammalian genome projects have uncovered a large part of genomic component of various groups, several repetitive sequences still remain to be characterized and classified for particular groups. The short interspersed repetitive elements (SINEs) distributed among marsupial genomes are one example. We have identified and characterized two new SINEs from marsupial genomes that belong to the CORE-SINE family, characterized by a highly conserved "CORE" domain. PCR and genomic dot blot analyses revealed that the distribution of each SINE shows distinct patterns among the marsupial genomes, implying different timing of their retroposition during the evolution of marsupials. The members of Mar3 (Marsupialia 3) SINE are distributed throughout the genomes of all marsupials, whereas the Mac1 (Macropodoidea 1) SINE is distributed specifically in the genomes of kangaroos. Sequence alignment of the Mar3 SINEs revealed that they can be further divided into four subgroups, each of which has diagnostic nucleotides. The insertion patterns of each SINE at particular genomic loci, together with the distribution patterns of each SINE, suggest that the Mar3 SINEs have intensively amplified after the radiation of diprotodontians, whereas the Mac1 SINE has amplified only slightly after the divergence of hypsiprimnodons from other macropods. By compiling the information of CORE-SINEs characterized to date, we propose a comprehensive picture of how SINE evolution occurred in the genomes of marsupials. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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