Table of Contents
International Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 2011, Article ID 358412, 9 pages
Research Article

Site-Specific Insertion Polymorphism of the MITE Alex-1 in the Genus Coffea Suggests Interspecific Gene Flow

1IRD, UMR DIADE, Centre IRD de Montpellier, BP 64501, 34394 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
2UMR ECOFOG INRA, BP 709, 97387 Kourou Cedex, Guyane Française, France
3FOFIFA, BP 1444, Ambatobe, Antananarivo 101, Madagascar

Received 1 March 2011; Accepted 16 July 2011

Academic Editor: A. Rus Hoelzel

Copyright © 2011 Christine Dubreuil-Tranchant et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Miniature Inverted-repeat Transposable Elements (MITEs) are small nonautonomous class-II transposable elements distributed throughout eukaryotic genomes. We identified a novel family of MITEs (named Alex) in the Coffea canephora genome often associated with expressed sequences. The Alex-1 element is inserted in an intron of a gene at the CcEIN4 locus. Its mobility was demonstrated by sequencing the insertion site in C. canephora accessions and Coffea species. Analysis of the insertion polymorphism of Alex-1 at this locus in Coffea species and in C. canephora showed that there was no relationship between the geographical distribution of the species, their phylogenetic relationships, and insertion polymorphism. The intraspecific distribution of C. canephora revealed an original situation within the E diversity group. These results suggest possibly greater gene flow between species than previously thought. This MITE family will enable the study of the C. canephora genome evolution, phylogenetic relationships, and possible gene flows within the Coffea genus.