Humphries, Ryan , Ford, Rosemary .
An evolutionary comparison of Ty1-copia and Ty3-gypsy retroelements within Rhododendron viscosum.
Retroelements are ubiquitous within all eukaryotes; from the daffodil to the dragonfly, they are always present. Small sequences of DNA capable of copying and moving about within a genome through an RNA intermediary, retroelements often make up a considerable amount of the genetic material of their host, particularly in plants. Retroelements have not been characterized previously for any member of the Ericaceae family. Rhododendron viscosum has provided a suitable platform for just such an endeavor, comparing the two retroelement families Ty1-copia and Ty3-gypsy. Comparisons of these retroelements required amplification of a segment within the reverse transcriptase sequence. DNA sequences and their amino acid products from 30 representatives of each species were then compared within each family as well as between families at a genetic level. This comparison investigates the published research suggesting that Gypsy evolved prior to Copia, resulting in Gypsy having a higher degree of variation among its species as well as an increase in nonsynonymous mutations and stop codons, which would render the reverse transcriptase unusable.
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1 - Washington College, Biology, 300 Washington Ave, Chestertown, Maryland, 21620, USA
Presentation Type: Poster
Location: Salon C, D & E - Gov Ballroom/Hilton
Date: Tuesday, August 16th, 2005
Time: 12:30 PM