Sequence heterogeneity of the envelope-like domain in cultivated allotetraploid Gossypium species and their diploid progenitors
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Retroviral envelope (env)-like sequences in 2 cultivated allotetraploid cottons and their diploid progenitors have been identified and characterized in this study. DNA sequence analysis reveals that these sequences are heterogeneous. The observed sequence diversity, however, seems to preserve coding information. This is evidenced by the detection of the transmembrane domain (TM), which is the most conserved feature of the divergent retroviral env genes. The high ratio of synonymous to nonsynonymous changes suggests that these sequences are evolving under purifying selection. Phylogenetic analysis shows that Gossypium sequences closely cluster with a lineage of plant endogenous retroviruses that have an env-like gene. These results provide evidence for the antiquity and the wide diversity of env-like sequences in the Gossypium genome.
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E.A. Zaki, Division of Medical Genetics, The Saban Research Institute, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, University of Southern California, 4650 Sunset Blvd, Mail Box 90, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA