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Inactivation of group II intron RmInt1 in the Sinorhizobium meliloti genome

AuthorsMolina-Sánchez, M.D.; Toro, Nicolás
Issue Date2015
PublisherNature Publishing Group
CitationScientific Reports 5 (2015)
Abstract© 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Group II introns are self-splicing catalytic RNAs that probably originated in bacteria and act as mobile retroelements. The dispersal and dynamics of group II intron spread within a bacterial genome are thought to follow a selection-driven extinction model. Likewise, various studies on the evolution of group II introns have suggested that they are evolving toward an inactive form by fragmentation, with the loss of the intron 3′-terminus, but with some intron fragments remaining and continuing to evolve in the genome. RmInt1 is a mobile group II intron that is widespread in natural populations of Sinorhizobium meliloti, but some strains of this species have no RmInt1 introns. We studied the splicing ability and mobility of the three full-length RmInt1 copies harbored by S. meliloti 1021, and obtained evidence suggesting that specific mutations may lead to the impairment of intron splicing and retrohoming. Our data suggest that the RmInt1 copies in this strain are undergoing a process of inactivation.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1038/srep12036
issn: 2045-2322
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