Evolution of genome content: population dynamics of transposable elements in flies and humans

Methods Mol Biol. 2012;855:361-83. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-582-4_13.

Abstract

Recent research is starting to shed light on the factors that influence the population and evolutionary dynamics of transposable elements (TEs) and TE life cycles. Genomes differ sharply in the number of TE copies, in the level of TE activity, in the diversity of TE families and types, and in the proportion of old and young TEs. In this chapter, we focus on two well-studied genomes with strikingly different architectures, humans and Drosophila, which represent two extremes in terms of TE diversity and population dynamics. We argue that some of the answers might lie in (1) the larger population size and consequently more effective selection against new TE insertions due to ectopic recombination in flies compared to humans; and (2) in the faster rate of DNA loss in flies compared to humans leading to much faster removal of fixed TE copies from the fly genome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Transposable Elements / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genome / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Population Dynamics*

Substances

  • DNA Transposable Elements