Studies of the population dynamics of transposable elements (TEs) in Drosophila melanogaster indicate that consistent forces are affecting TEs independently of their modes of transposition and regulation. New sequencing technologies enable biologists to sample genomes at an unprecedented scale in order to quantify genome-wide polymorphism for annotated and novel TE insertions. In this review, we first present new insights gleaned from high-throughput data for population genomics studies of D. melanogaster. We then consider the latest population genomics models for TE evolution and present examples of functional evidence revealed by genome-wide studies of TE population dynamics in D. melanogaster. Although most of the TE insertions are deleterious or neutral, some TE insertions increase the fitness of the individual that carries them and play a role in genome adaptation.
Keywords: adaptation; evolutionary models; next-generation sequencing.