Korean J Parasitol.  2003 Dec;41(4):221-231. 10.3347/kjp.2003.41.4.221.

Divergent long-terminal-repeat retrotransposon families in the genome of Paragonimus westermani

  • 1Department of Molecular Parasitology and Center for Molecular Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine and Samsung Biomedical Research Institute, Suwon 440-746, Republic of Korea.


To gain information on retrotransposons in the genome of Paragonimus westermani, PCR was carried out with degenerate primers, specific to protease and reverse transcriptase (rt) genes of long-terminal-repeat (LTR) retrotransposons. The PCR products were cloned and sequenced, after which 12 different retrotransposon-related sequences were isolated from the trematode genome. These showed various degrees of identity to the polyprotein of divergent retrotransposon families. A phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that these sequences could be classified into three different families of LTR retrotransposons, namely, Xena, Bel, and Gypsy families. Of these, two mRNA transcripts were detected by reverse transcriptase-PCR, showing that these two elements preserved their mobile activities. The genomic distributions of these two sequences were found to be highly repetitive. These results suggest that there are diverse retrotransposons including the ancient Xena family in the genome of P. westermani, which may have been involved in the evolution of the host genome.


Paragonimus westermani; degenerate PCR; LTR retrotransposon; mobile activity; phylogenetic relationship

MeSH Terms

Amino Acid Sequence
Cloning, Molecular
DNA, Helminth/analysis
*Evolution, Molecular
Molecular Sequence Data
RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase/chemistry/genetics
Sequence Alignment
Sequence Analysis, DNA
Terminal Repeat Sequences/*genetics
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