The presence of long repetitive sequences is demonstrated in the genome of the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Members of this BMC1 family reveal several features typical of the L1 (long interspersed sequence one) family of mammals, except for species specific elements. The number of BMC1 elements is estimated to be approximately 3500 per haploid genome. Elements containing the full length unit of 5.1 kb are dispersed throughout the genome and their restriction sites are conserved, although most members are preferentially truncated to varying extents at their 5′ ends. DNA sequencing indicates that this element contains six tandem repeats of 15 bp CpG-rich sequence in the 5′ proximal region. It terminates with a 3′ oligo(A) stretch, and is flanked at both ends by a 7-10 bp target sequence duplication. In addition, there is significant evidence for amino acid sequence homology with reverse transcriptase domains of other L1 families, especially F, Doc and lockey of Drosophila melanogaster. No large open reading frame is present. The BMC1 element is suggested to be dispersed in the genome by a transposition mechanism involving RNA intermediates.
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