Diversity of long terminal repeat retrotransposon genome distribution in natural populations of the wild diploid wheat Aegilops speltoides

Elena Hosid, Leonid Brodsky, Ruslan Kalendar, Olga Raskina, Alexander Belyayev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The environment can have a decisive influence on the structure of the genome, changing it in a certain direction. Therefore, the genomic distribution of environmentally sensitive transposable elements may vary measurably across a species area. In the present research, we aimed to detect and evaluate the level of LTR retrotransposon intraspecific variability in Aegilops speltoides (2n = 2× = 14), a wild cross-pollinated relative of cultivated wheat. The interretrotransposon amplified polymorphism (IRAP) protocol was applied to detect and evaluate the level of retrotransposon intraspecific variability in Ae. speltoides and closely related species. IRAP analysis revealed significant diversity in TE distribution. Various genotypes from the 13 explored populations significantly differ with respect to the patterns of the four explored LTR retrotransposons (WIS2, Wilma, Daniela, and Fatima). This diversity points to a constant ongoing process of LTR retrotransposon fraction restructuring in populations of Ae. speltoides throughout the species' range and within single populations in time. Maximum changes were recorded in genotypes from small stressed populations. Principal component analysis showed that the dynamics of the Fatima element significantly differ from those of WIS2, Wilma, and Daniela. In terms of relationships between Sitopsis species, IRAP analysis revealed a grouping with Ae. sharonensis and Ae. longissima forming a separate unit, Ae. speltoides appearing as a dispersed group, and Ae. bicornis being in an intermediate position. IRAP display data revealed dynamic changes in LTR retrotransposon fractions in the genome of Ae. speltoides. The process is permanent and population specific, ultimately leading to the separation of small stressed populations from the main group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-274
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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