Retrotransposons including CR1 (chicken repeat 1) elements are important factors in genome evolution. They also mobilize in a genome in a way that makes them useful for phylogenetic analysis and species identification. This study was designed to identify lineages of CR1 elements in the genomes of forensically important oestroid flies and to further characterize one family, Sbul.CR1B. CR1 fragments from several taxa were amplified, cloned, sequenced and analyzed to identify different lineages of elements. A variety of retrotransposon families were recovered that exhibit similarity to known retrotransposon families. A number of these lineages may have given rise to taxon-specific subfamilies that have been recently active in oestroid fly genomes. One element from Sarcophaga bullata was analyzed in detail to reconstruct a partial Open Reading Frame containing both the reverse transcriptase (RT) and endonuclease (EN) domains. These domains were used to identify conserved amino acid regions in the recovered consensus via comparison to known non-LTR retrotransposons. Phylogenetic analysis of the RT domain revealed the recovered ORF in S. bullata compares favorably with previously documented CR1-like elements. This work will serve as the basis for additional analyses targeted at developing a simple, efficient marker system for the identification of forensically important carrion flies.
- Carrion fly