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Genomic and evolutionary analyses of Tango transposons in Aedes aegypti, Anopheles gambiae and other mosquito species.

  • Coy, M R
  • Tu, Z
Published Article
Insect molecular biology
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2007
PMID: 17506852


Tango is a transposon of the Tc1 family and was originally discovered in the African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. Here we report a systematic analysis of the genome sequence of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, which uncovered three distinct Tango transposons. We name the only An. gambiae Tango transposon AgTango1 and the three Ae. aegypti Tango elements AeTango1-3. Like AgTango1, AeTango1 and AeTango2 elements both have members that retain characteristics of autonomous elements such as intact open reading frames and terminal inverted repeats (TIRs). AeTango3 is a degenerate transposon with no full-length members. All full-length Tango transposons contain subterminal direct repeats within their TIRs. AgTango1 and AeTango1-3 form a single clade among other Tc1 transposons. Within this clade, AgTango1 and AeTango1 are closely related and share approximately 80% identity at the amino acid level, which exceeds the level of similarity of the majority of host genes in the two species. A survey of Tango in other mosquito species was carried out using degenerate PCR. Tango was isolated and sequenced in all members of the An. gambiae species complex, Aedes albopictus and Ochlerotatus atropalpus. Oc. atropalpus contains a rich diversity of Tango elements, while Tango elements in Ae. albopictus and the An. gambiae species complex all belong to Tango1. No Tango was detected in Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus, Anopheles stephensi, Anopheles dirus, Anopheles farauti or Anopheles albimanus using degenerate PCR. Bioinformatic searches of the Cx. p. quinquefasciatus (~10 x coverage) and An. stephensi (0.33 x coverage) databases also failed to uncover any Tango elements. Although other evolutionary scenarios cannot be ruled out, there are indications that Tango1 underwent horizontal transfer among divergent mosquito species.

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