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A search for reverse transcriptase-coding sequences reveals new non-LTR retrotransposons in the genome of Drosophila melanogaster

Eugene Berezikov1, Alain Bucheton2 and Isabelle Busseau2*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Prospect Lavrentjeva 10, Novosibirsk 630090, Russia

2 Institut de Génétique Humaine, CNRS, rue de la Cardonille, Montpellier cedex 5, France

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Genome Biology 2000, 1:research0012-research0012.15  doi:10.1186/gb-2000-1-6-research0012

Published: 4 December 2000



Non-long terminal repeat (non-LTR) retrotransposons are eukaryotic mobile genetic elements that transpose by reverse transcription of an RNA intermediate. We have performed a systematic search for sequences matching the characteristic reverse transcriptase domain of non-LTR retrotransposons in the sequenced regions of the Drosophila melanogaster genome.


In addition to previously characterized BS, Doc, F, G, I and Jockey elements, we have identified new non-LTR retrotransposons: Waldo, You and JuanDm. Waldo elements are related to mosquito RTI elements. You to the Drosophila I factor, and JuanDm to mosquito Juan-A and Juan-C. Interestingly, all JuanDm elements are highly homogeneous in sequence, suggesting that they are recent components of the Drosophila genome.


The genome of D. melanogaster contains at least ten families of non-site-specific non-LTR retrotransposons representing three distinct clades. Many of these families contain potentially active members. Fine evolutionary analyses must await the more accurate sequences that are expected in the next future.