Structure of the natural transgene PgiC2 in the common grass Festuca ovina

Pernilla Vallenback, Lena Ghatnekar, Bengt Olle Bengtsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: A horizontal gene transfer has brought an active nuclear gene, PgiC2, from a polyploid Poa species (P. palustris or a close relative) into the common grass sheep's fescue (Festuca ovina). The donor and the receptor species are strictly reproductively separated, and PgiC2 occurs in a polymorphic state within F. ovina. The active gene copy is normally closely linked to a very similar pseudogene. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: By genome walking we have obtained the up- and downstream sequences of PgiC2 and of corresponding genes in the donor and recipient species. Comparisons of these sequences show that the complete upstream region necessary for the gene's expression is included in the transferred segment. About 1 kb upstream of PgiC2 a fragment with transposition associated properties has been found (TAF). It is present in P. palustris and its polyploid relatives, though not at the homologous position, and is absent from many other grasses, including non-transgenic F. ovina plants. It is possible that it is a part of a transposing element involved in getting the gene into a transferring agent and/or into the recipient chromosome. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The close similarity of the up- and downstream regions with the corresponding regions in P. palustris excludes all suggestions that PgiC2 is not a HGT but the result of a duplication within the F. ovina lineage. The small size of the genetic material transferred, the complex nature of the PgiC2 locus, and the associated fragment with transposition associated properties suggest that the horizontal transfer occurred via a vector and not via illegitimate pollination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume5
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Biological Sciences

Keywords

  • horizontal gene transfer
  • transgene
  • Poa palustris
  • PgiC2
  • Festuca ovina

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