13 - BMC Plant Biology Research article BioMed Central Open...

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Bio Med Central Page 1 of 16 (page number not for citation purposes) BMC Plant Biology Open Access Research article Endogenous pararetroviral sequences in tomato ( Solanum lycopersicum ) and related species Christina Staginnus* 1 , Wolfgang Gregor 2 , M Florian Mette 3 , Chee How Teo 4 , Eduviges Glenda Borroto-Fernández 5 , Margit Laimer da Câmara Machado 5 , Marjori Matzke 1 and Trude Schwarzacher 4 Address: 1 Gregor Mendel Institute of Plant Molecular Biology (GMI), 1030 Wien, Austria, 2 Research Institute of Biochemical Pharmacology and Molecular Toxicology, University of Veterinary Medicine, 1210 Wien, Austria, 3 AG Epigenetik, Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) Gatersleben, 06466 Gatersleben, Germany, 4 Department of Biology, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK and 5 Institute of Applied Microbiology, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (BOKU), 1190 Wien, Austria Email: Christina Staginnus* - christina.staginnus@gmi.oeaw.ac.at; Wolfgang Gregor - Wolfgang.Gregor@vu-wien.ac.at; M Florian Mette - mette@ipk-gatersleben.de; Chee How Teo - cht9@le.ac.uk; Eduviges Glenda Borroto- Fernández - eduviges_glenda.borroto_fernandez@boku.ac.at; Margit Laimer da Câmara Machado - margit.laimer@boku.ac.at; Marjori Matzke - marjori.matzke@gmi.oeaw.ac.at; Trude Schwarzacher - ts32@le.ac.uk * Corresponding author Abstract Background: Endogenous pararetroviral sequences (EPRVs) are a recently discovered class of repetitive sequences that is broadly distributed in the plant kingdom. The potential contribution of EPRVs to plant pathogenicity or, conversely, to virus resistance is just beginning to be explored. Some members of the family Solanaceae are particularly rich in EPRVs. In previous work, EPRVs have been characterized molecularly in various species of Nicotiana including N.tabacum (tobacco) and Solanum tuberosum (potato). Here we describe a family of EPRVs in cultivated tomato ( Solanum lycopersicum L.) and a wild relative ( S.habrochaites ). Results: Molecular cloning and DNA sequence analysis revealed that tomato EPRVs (named Lyc EPRVs) are most closely related to those in tobacco. The sequence similarity of Lyc EPRVs in S.lycopersicum and S.habrochaites indicates they are potentially derived from the same pararetrovirus. DNA blot analysis revealed a similar genomic organization in the two species, but also some independent excision or insertion events after species separation, or flanking sequence divergence. Lyc EPRVs share with the tobacco elements a disrupted genomic structure and frequent association with retrotransposons. Fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed that copies of Lyc EPRV are dispersed on all chromosomes in predominantly heterochromatic regions. Methylation of Lyc EPRVs was detected in CHG and asymmetric CHH nucleotide groups. Although normally quiescent EPRVs can be reactivated and produce symptoms of infection in some Nicotiana interspecific hybrids, a similar pathogenicity of Lyc EPRVs could not be demonstrated in Solanum L. section Lycopersicon [Mill.] hybrids. Even in healthy plants, however,
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13 - BMC Plant Biology Research article BioMed Central Open...

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