Characterization of MRT, a new non-LTR retrotransposon in Monascus spp.

Yi Pei Chen, Ching-Ping Tseng, Li Ling Liaw, Chun Lin Wang, Gwo Fang Yuan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A new non-LTR retrotransposon, named MRT, was discovered in the filamentous fungus Monascus pilosus BCRC38072. The entire nucleotide sequence of the MRT element was 5.5-kb long, including two open reading frames. These two ORFs showed homologies to gag-like and pol-like gene products, and an A-rich sequence at the 3′ end of pol-like gene. ORF1 encoded a protein of 517 amino acids and contained a cysteine-rich zinc finger motif. ORF2 encoded a protein of 1181 amino acids and contained apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease (APE), reverse transcriptase (RT), RNaseH domains, and a CCHC motif. The phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that the MRT element should be classified into the Tad1 clade. The results of Southern hybridizations showed that MRT elements were distributed within M. pilosus, M. ruber, M. sanguineus, and M. barkeri. In addition, the species of Monascus can be grouped by the presence or absence of MRT elements in the hybridization pattern according to phylogenetic subgroups established with the partial β-tubulin gene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-385
Number of pages9
JournalBotanical Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2007


  • Bacterial artificial chromosome
  • Monascus pilosus
  • Non-LTR retrotransposon
  • Phylogenetic analysis

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