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Occurrence of a copia-like transposable element in one of the introns of the potato starch phosphorylase gene

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Summary

The gene coding for starch phosphorylase (EC 2.4.1.1) was isolated from a potato genomic library constructed in λEMBL3. It is an unusually long plant gene (16.4 kb) which encodes a preprotein of 966 amino acids. The phosphorylase coding sequence is interrupted by 14 introns whose positions do not match those of the introns in the human glycogen phosphorylase gene. A 78 amino acid central peptide unique to plant plastidial phosphorylases is hypothesized to have arisen through the mis-splicing of an intron-exon junction site in an ancestral gene. The fifth intron of the phosphorylase is very large (approximately 7 kb) and contains a copia-like transposable element inserted in the opposite orientation to that of the phosphorylase gene. This element has been named Tstl ; it is bordered on the 5′ and 3′ sides by long terminal repeats of 285 and 283 bp respectively, which define an internal domain of 4492 bp. Tstl contains 4 open reading frames (ORFs) that encode protein domains for a reverse transcriptase, an integrase, an RNA-binding site and a protease. Transcription of the phosphorylase gene appears to proceed unimpaired through the copia element.

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Correspondence to Normand Brisson.

Additional information

Communicated by D.Y. Thomas

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Camirand, A., St-Pierre, B., Marineau, C. et al. Occurrence of a copia-like transposable element in one of the introns of the potato starch phosphorylase gene. Molec. Gen. Genet. 224, 33–39 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00259448

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Key words

  • Reverse transcriptase
  • Tuber
  • Solanum tuberosum
  • Retrotransposon