PpRT1: The first complete gypsy-like retrotransposon isolated in Pinus pinaster

Margarida Rocheta, Jorge Cordeiro, M. Oliveira, Célia Miguel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


We have isolated and characterized a complete retrotransposon sequence, named PpRT1, from the genome of Pinus pinaster. PpRT1 is 5,966 bp long and is closely related to IFG7 gypsy retrotransposon from Pinus radiata. The long terminal repeats (LTRs) have 333 bp each and show a 5.4% sequence divergence between them. In addition to the characteristic polypurine tract (PPT) and the primer binding site (PBS), PpRT1 carries internal regions with homology to retroviral genes gag and pol. The pol region contains sequence motifs related to the enzymes protease, reverse transcriptase, RNAseH and integrase in the same typical order known for Ty3/gypsy-like retrotransposons. PpRT1 was extended from an EST database sequence indicating that its transcription is occurring in pine tissues. Southern blot analyses indicate however, that PpRT1 is present in a unique or a low number of copies in the P. pinaster genome. The differences in nucleotide sequence found between PpRT1 and IFG7 may explain the strikingly different copy number in the two pine species genome. Based on the homologies observed when comparing LTR region among different gypsy elements we propose that the highly conserved LTR regions may be useful to amplify other retrotransposon sequences of the same or close retrotransposon family.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-562
Number of pages12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2007


  • Gypsy-like
  • IFG7 (gypsy retrotransposon)
  • Long terminal repeat
  • LTR retrotransposon
  • Maritime pine
  • Pinus pinaster


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