High rate of horizontal transfer of transposable elements in Drosophila

Trends Genet. 2005 Apr;21(4):200-3. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2005.02.001.


We have conducted molecular population genetics analyses to understand the relationships among the transposable elements (TEs) in Drosophila melanogaster, in combination with sequence comparisons of TEs from two related species, D. simulans and D. yakuba. We observed much lower than expected genetic differences among elements, clear evidence for departure from expectations for equilibrium copy numbers and little divergence between species. This suggests that a large proportion of TEs in D. melanogaster had a recent origin as a result of interspecies movement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Transposable Elements / genetics*
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Gene Frequency / genetics*
  • Gene Transfer, Horizontal*
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genetics, Population*
  • Phylogeny


  • DNA Transposable Elements