Discovery and analysis of an active long terminal repeat-retrotransposable element in Aspergillus oryzae


Jie Jin F1, Hara S, Sato A, Koyama Y.
J Gen Appl Microbiol. 2014;60(1):1-6.


Wild-type Aspergillus oryzae RIB40 contains two copies of the AO090005001597 gene. We previously constructed A. oryzae RIB40 strain, RKuAF8B, with multiple chromosomal deletions, in which the AO090005001597 copy number was found to be increased significantly. Sequence analysis indicated that AO090005001597 is part of a putative 6,000-bp retrotransposable element, flanked by two long terminal repeats (LTRs) of 669 bp, with characteristics of retroviruses and retrotransposons, and thus designated AoLTR (A. oryzae LTR-retrotransposable element). AoLTR comprised putative reverse transcriptase, RNase H, and integrase domains. The deduced amino acid sequence alignment of AoLTR showed 94% overall identity with AFLAV, an A. flavus Tf1/sushi retrotransposon. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR showed that AoLTR gene expression was significantly increased in the RKuAF8B, in accordance with the increased copy number. Inverse PCR indicated that the full-length retrotransposable element was randomly integrated into multiple genomic locations. However, no obvious phenotypic changes were associated with the increased AoLTR gene copy number.