Supplementary Material for: Contrasting Rates of LINE-1 Amplification among New World Primates of the Atelidae Family
LINE-1 (L1) retrotransposons constitute the dominant category of transposons in mammalian genomes. L1 elements are active in the vast majority of mammals, and only a few cases of L1 extinction have been documented. The only possible case of extinction in primates was suggested for South American spider monkeys. However, these previous studies were based on a single species. We revisited this question with a larger phylogenetic sample, covering all 4 genera of Atelidae and 3 species of spider monkeys. We used an enrichment method to clone recently inserted L1 elements and performed an evolutionary analysis of the sequences. We were able to identify young L1 elements in all taxa, suggesting that L1 is probably still active in all Atelidae examined. However, we also detected considerable variations in the proportion of recent elements indicating that the rate of L1 amplification varies among Atelidae by a 3-fold factor. The extent of L1 amplification in Atelidae remains overall lower than in other New World monkeys. Multiple factors can affect the amplification of L1, such as the demography of the host and the control of transposition. These factors are discussed in the context of host life history.