Shaping and reshaping of salmonid genomes by amplification of tRNA-derived retroposons during evolution

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Mar 15;88(6):2326-30. doi: 10.1073/pnas.88.6.2326.


Three families of tRNA-derived repeated retroposons in the genomes of salmonid species have been isolated and characterized. These three families differ in sequence, but all are derived from a tRNA(Lys) or from a tRNA species structurally related to tRNA(Lys). The salmon Sma I family is present in the genomes of two species of the genus Oncorhynchus but not in other species, including five other species of the same genus. The charr Fok I family is present only in four species and subspecies of the genus Salvelinus. The third family, the salmonid Hpa I family, appears to be present in all salmonid species but is not present in species that are not members of the Salmonidae. Thus, the genome of proto-Salmonidae was originally shaped by amplification and dispersion of the salmonid Hpa I family and then reshaped by amplification of the Sma I and Fok I families in the more recently evolved species of salmon and charr, respectively. We speculate that amplification and dispersion of retroposons may have played a role in salmonid speciation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Evolution*
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • Gene Amplification
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family*
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • RNA, Transfer / genetics*
  • RNA, Transfer, Lys / genetics*
  • Salmonidae / genetics*
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Species Specificity


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • RNA, Transfer, Lys
  • RNA, Transfer

Associated data

  • GENBANK/D90289
  • GENBANK/D90290
  • GENBANK/D90291
  • GENBANK/D90292
  • GENBANK/D90293
  • GENBANK/D90294
  • GENBANK/D90295
  • GENBANK/D90296
  • GENBANK/D90297
  • GENBANK/D90298
  • GENBANK/D90299
  • GENBANK/D90300