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1.  Losing identity: structural diversity of transposable elements belonging to different classes in the genome of Anopheles gambiae 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:272.
Transposable elements (TEs), both DNA transposons and retrotransposons, are genetic elements with the main characteristic of being able to mobilize and amplify their own representation within genomes, utilizing different mechanisms of transposition. An almost universal feature of TEs in eukaryotic genomes is their inability to transpose by themselves, mainly as the result of sequence degeneration (by either mutations or deletions). Most of the elements are thus either inactive or non-autonomous. Considering that the bulk of some eukaryotic genomes derive from TEs, they have been conceived as “TE graveyards.” It has been shown that once an element has been inactivated, it progressively accumulates mutations and deletions at neutral rates until completely losing its identity or being lost from the host genome; however, it has also been shown that these “neutral sequences” might serve as raw material for domestication by host genomes.
We have analyzed the sequence structural variations, nucleotide divergence, and pattern of insertions and deletions of several superfamilies of TEs belonging to both class I (long terminal repeats [LTRs] and non-LTRs [NLTRs]) and II in the genome of Anopheles gambiae, aiming at describing the landscape of deterioration of these elements in this particular genome. Our results describe a great diversity in patterns of deterioration, indicating lineage-specific differences including the presence of Solo-LTRs in the LTR lineage, 5′-deleted NLTRs, and several non-autonomous and MITEs in the class II families. Interestingly, we found fragments of NLTRs corresponding to the RT domain, which preserves high identity among them, suggesting a possible remaining genomic role for these domains.
We show here that the TEs in the An. gambiae genome deteriorate in different ways according to the class to which they belong. This diversity certainly has implications not only at the host genomic level but also at the amplification dynamic and evolution of the TE families themselves.
PMCID: PMC3442997  PMID: 22726298
Transposable elements; LTR; Non-LTR; Class II; Deterioration; Anopheles gambiae
2.  Novel transposable elements from Anopheles gambiae 
BMC Genomics  2011;12:260.
Transposable elements (TEs) are DNA sequences, present in the genome of most eukaryotic organisms that hold the key characteristic of being able to mobilize and increase their copy number within chromosomes. These elements are important for eukaryotic genome structure and evolution and lately have been considered as potential drivers for introducing transgenes into pathogen-transmitting insects as a means to control vector-borne diseases. The aim of this work was to catalog the diversity and abundance of TEs within the Anopheles gambiae genome using the PILER tool and to consolidate a database in the form of a hyperlinked spreadsheet containing detailed and readily available information about the TEs present in the genome of An. gambiae.
Here we present the spreadsheet named AnoTExcel that constitutes a database with detailed information on most of the repetitive elements present in the genome of the mosquito. Despite previous work on this topic, our approach permitted the identification and characterization both of previously described and novel TEs that are further described in detailed.
Identification and characterization of TEs in a given genome is important as a way to understand the diversity and evolution of the whole set of TEs present in a given species. This work contributes to a better understanding of the landscape of TEs present in the mosquito genome. It also presents a novel platform for the identification, analysis, and characterization of TEs on sequenced genomes.
PMCID: PMC3212995  PMID: 21605407

Results 1-2 (2)