Evolution of satellite DNAs from the genus Palorus--experimental evidence for the "library" hypothesis
Mestrović, N.; Plohl, M.; Mravinac, B.; Ugarković, D.
Molecular Biology and Evolution 15(8): 1062-1068
Satellite DNA profiles have been characterized in the congeneric species Palorus ratzeburgii, Palorus subdepressus, Palorus genalis, and Palorus ficicola (Coleoptera, Insecta), each of which contains a single, A + T-rich satellite DNA comprising a considerable portion of the genome (20%-40%). These satellites exhibit insignificant mutual sequence similarity. Using PCR assay, it has been shown that all four sequences are present in each of the tested Palorus species: one of them is amplified into a high copy number or a major satellite, while the three others are in the form of low-copy-number repeats estimated to make up approximately 0.05% of the genome. Each of the four satellites is interspecifically high conserved concerning the sequence, monomer length, and tandem repeat organization. Major, as well as low-copy-number, satellites are colocalized in the regions of pericentromeric heterochromatin on all chromosomes of the complement. The low-copy-number satellites are dispersed between the large arrays of the major satellite over the whole heterochromatic block. Our results explain satellite DNA evolution, confirming the hypothesis that related species share a "library" of conserved satellite sequences, some of which could be amplified into a major satellite. Due to the evolutionary dynamics of satellite DNAs, the content of the "library" is variable; the elimination of some sequences parallels the creation of the new ones. Quantitative changes in satellite DNAs, induced by occasional amplification of satellite repeat from the "library", could possibly occur in the course of the speciation process, thus forming a species-specific profile of satellite DNAs.