Evolutionary history of B1 retroposons in the genus Mus

J Mol Evol. 2000 Sep;51(3):256-64. doi: 10.1007/s002390010087.


Short interspersed DNA elements (SINEs) amplify by retroposition either by (i) successive waves of amplification from one or a few evolving master genes or by (ii) the generation of new master genes that coexist with their progenitors. Individual, highly conserved, elements of the B1 SINE family were identified from the GenBank nucleotide database using various B1 subfamily consensus query sequences to determine their integration times into the mouse genome. A comparison of orthologous loci in various species of the genus Mus demonstrated that four subfamilies of B1 elements have been amplifying within the last 1-3 million years. Therefore, B1 sequences are generated by coexisting source genes. Additionally, three B1 subfamilies have been concurrently propagated during subspecies divergence and strain formation in Mus, indicating very recent activity of this retroposon family. The patterns of intra- and interspecies variations of orthologous loci demonstrate the usefulness of B1 integrations as a phylogenetic tool. A single inconsistency in the phylogenetic trends was depicted by the presence of a B1 insert in an orthologous locus exclusively in M. musculus and M. pahari. However, DNA sequence analysis revealed that these were independent integrations at the same genomic site. One highly conserved B1 element that integrated at least 4-6 million years ago suggests the possibility of occasional function for B1 integrations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muridae / genetics*
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Short Interspersed Nucleotide Elements*
  • Time Factors


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA