Multiple independent insertions of 5S rRNA genes in the spliced-leader gene family of trypanosome species.

Current genetics

PubMedID: 24002669

Beauparlant MA, Drouin G. Multiple independent insertions of 5S rRNA genes in the spliced-leader gene family of trypanosome species. Curr Genet. 2013;.
Analyses of the 5S rRNA genes found in the spliced-leader (SL) gene repeat units of numerous trypanosome species suggest that such linkages were not inherited from a common ancestor, but were the result of independent 5S rRNA gene insertions. In trypanosomes, 5S rRNA genes are found either in the tandemly repeated units coding for SL genes or in independent tandemly repeated units. Given that trypanosome species where 5S rRNA genes are within the tandemly repeated units coding for SL genes are phylogenetically related, one might hypothesize that this arrangement is the result of an ancestral insertion of 5S rRNA genes into the tandemly repeated SL gene family of trypanosomes. Here, we use the types of 5S rRNA genes found associated with SL genes, the flanking regions of the inserted 5S rRNA genes and the position of these insertions to show that most of the 5S rRNA genes found within SL gene repeat units of trypanosome species were not acquired from a common ancestor but are the results of independent insertions. These multiple 5S rRNA genes insertion events in trypanosomes are likely the result of frequent founder events in different hosts and/or geographical locations in species having short generation times.