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The wide distribution and horizontal transfers of beta satellite DNA in eukaryotes

By Jiawen Yang, Bin Yuan, Yu Wu, Meiyu Li, Jian Li, Donglin Xu, Zeng-hong Gao, Guangwei Ma, Yiting Zhou, Yachao Zuo, Jin Wang, Yabin GUO

Posted 18 Sep 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/772921 (published DOI: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2020.10.006)

Beta satellite DNA (satDNA), also known as Sau3A sequences, are repeated DNA sequences reported in human and primate genomes. It is previously thought that beta satDNAs originated in old world monkeys and bursted in great apes. In this study, we searched 7,821 genome assemblies of 3,767 eukaryotic species and found that beta satDNAs are widely distributed across eukaryotes. The four major branches of eukaryotes, animals, fungi, plants and Harosa/SAR, all have multiple clades containing beta satDNAs. These results were also confirmed by searching whole genome sequencing data (SRA) and PCR assay. Beta satDNA sequences were found in all the primate clades, as well as in Dermoptera and Scandentia, indicating that the beta satDNAs in primates might originate in the common ancestor of Primatomorpha or Euarchonta. In contrast, the widely patchy distribution of beta satDNAs across eukaryotes presents a typical scenario of multiple horizontal transfers.

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