The (non-LTR) LINE and Ty3-gypsy-type LTR retrotransposon populations of three Vicia species that differ in genome size (Vicia faba, Vicia melanops and Vicia sativa) have been characterised. In each species the LINE retrotransposons comprise a complex, very heterogeneous set of sequences, while the Ty3-gypsy elements are much more homogeneous. Copy numbers of all three retrotransposon groups (Ty1-copia, Ty3-gypsy and LINE) in these species have been estimated by random genomic sequencing and Southern hybridisation analysis. The Ty3-gypsy elements are extremely numerous in all species, accounting for 18-35% of their genomes. The Ty1-copia group elements are somewhat less abundant and LINE elements are present in still lower amounts. Collectively, 20-45% of the genomes of these three Vicia species are comprised of retrotransposons. These data show that the three retrotransposon groups have proliferated to different extents in members of the Vicia genus and high proliferation has been associated with homogenisation of the retrotransposon population.
- Vicia evolution
- line bisection