Look4LTRs: A Long terminal repeat retrotransposon detection tool capable of cross species studies and discovering recently nested repeats - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2023

Look4LTRs: A Long terminal repeat retrotransposon detection tool capable of cross species studies and discovering recently nested repeats

Abstract

Abstract Plant genomes include large numbers of transposable elements. One particular type of these elements is flanked by two Long Terminal Repeats (LTRs) and can translocate using RNA. Such elements are known as LTR-retrotransposons; they are the most abundant type of transposons in plant genomes. They have many important functions involving gene regulation and the rise of new genes and pseudo genes in response to severe stress. Additionally, LTR-retrotransposons have several applications in biotechnology. Due to the abundance and the importance of LTR-retrotransposons, multiple computational tools have been developed for their detection. However, none of these tools take advantages of the availability of related genomes; they process one chromosome at a time. Further, recently nested LTR-retrotransposons (multiple elements of the same family are inserted into each other) cannot be annotated accurately — or cannot be annotated at all — by the currently available tools. Motivated to overcome these two limitations, we built Look4LTRs , which can annotate LTR-retrotransposons in multiple related genomes simultaneously and discover recently nested elements. The methodology of Look4LTRs depends on techniques imported from the signal-processing field, graph algorithms, and machine learning with a minimal use of alignment algorithms. Four plant genomes were used in developing Look4LTRs and eight plant genomes for evaluating it in contrast to three related tools. Look4LTRs is the fastest while maintaining better or comparable F1 scores (the harmonic average of recall and precision) to those obtained by the other tools. Our results demonstrate the added benefit of annotating LTR-retrotransposons in multiple related genomes simultaneously and the ability to discover recently nested elements. Expert human manual examination of six elements — not included in the ground truth — revealed that three elements belong to known families and two elements are likely from new families. With respect to examining recently nested LTR-retrotransposons, three out of five were confirmed to be valid elements. Look4LTRs — with its speed, accuracy, and novel features — represents a true advancement in the annotation of LTR-retrotransposons, opening the door to many studies focused on understanding their functions in plants.

Dates and versions

hal-04303151 , version 1 (23-11-2023)

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Anthony Garza, Emmanuelle Lerat, Hani Girgis. Look4LTRs: A Long terminal repeat retrotransposon detection tool capable of cross species studies and discovering recently nested repeats. 2023. ⟨hal-04303151⟩
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