The evolutionary history of mariner-like elements in Neotropical drosophilids.
The evolutionary history of mariner-like elements (MLEs) in 49 mainly Neotropical drosophilid species is described. So far, the investigations about the distribution of MLEs were performed mainly using hybridization assays with the Mos1 element (the first mariner active element described) in a widely range of drosophilid species and these sequences were found principally in species that arose in Afrotropical and Sino-Indian regions. Our analysis in mainly Neotropical drosophilid species shows that twenty-three species presented MLEs from three different subfamilies in their genomes: eighteen species had MLEs from subfamily mellifera, fifteen from subfamily mauritiana and three from subfamily irritans. Eleven of these species exhibited elements from more than one subfamily in their genome. In two subfamilies, the analyzed coding region was uninterrupted and contained conserved catalytic motifs. This suggests that these sequences were probably derived from active elements. The species with these putative active elements are Drosophila mediopunctata and D. busckii for the mauritiana subfamily, and D. paramediostriata for the mellifera subfamily. The phylogenetic analysis of MLE, shows a complex evolutionary pattern, exhibiting vertical transfer, stochastic loss and putative events of horizontal transmission occurring between different Drosophilidae species, and even those belonging to more distantly related taxa such as Bactrocera tryoni (Tephritidae family), Sphyracephala europaea (Diopsoidea superfamily) and Buenoa sp. (Hemiptera order). Moreover, our data show that the distribution of MLEs is not restricted to Afrotropical and Sino-Indian species. Conversely, these TEs are also widely distributed in drosophilid species arisen in the Neotropical region.