We have identified 141 novel palindromic repetitive elements in the genome of euryarchaeon Methanocaldococcus jannaschii. The total length of these elements is 14.3 kb, which corresponds to 0.9% of the total genomic sequence and 6.3% of all extragenic regions. The elements can be divided into three groups (MJRE1-3) based on the sequence similarity. The low sequence identity within each of the groups suggests rather old origin of these elements in M. jannaschii. Three MJRE2 elements were located within the protein coding regions without disrupting the coding potential of the host genes, indicating that insertion of repeats might be a widespread mechanism to enhance sequence diversity in coding regions.
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