Temporal waves of miniature inverted-repeat transposable element amplification during rice genome evolution
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Miniature inverted-repeat transposable elements (MITEs) are the single most abundant type of transposable element in the rice genome with at least 100 families and almost 100,000 elements. They are nonautonomous derivatives of DNA transposons. Little is known about how they spread and why they have been so successful. Availability of the entire rice genome sequence has permitted a whole genome analysis of five Tourist-like MITE families (Castaway, Explorer, Olo, Tou and Wanderer) in order to gain insight into their evolution. MITE sequences were found to cluster into distinct subfamilies ranging in age from around 1 million years to around 22 million years. These results suggest that MITEs spread through the rice genome in successive rounds of amplification. As part of this analysis transposon display was applied to these MITE families and 225 markers were mapped onto the 12 rice chromosomes.