TITLE

How Athila retrotransposons survive in the Arabidopsis genome

AUTHOR(S)
Marco, Antonio; MarĂ­n, Ignacio
PUB. DATE
January 2008
SOURCE
BMC Genomics;2008, Vol. 9, Special section p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background: Transposable elements are selfish genetic sequences which only occasionally provide useful functions to their host species. In addition, models of mobile element evolution assume a second type of selfishness: elements of different familes do not cooperate, but they independently fight for their survival in the host genome. Results: We show that recombination events among distantly related Athila retrotransposons have led to the generation of new Athila lineages. Their pattern of diversification suggests that Athila elements survive in Arabidopsis by a combination of selfish replication and of amplification of highly diverged copies with coding potential. Many Athila elements are non-autonomous but still conserve intact open reading frames which are under the effect of negative, purifying natural selection. Conclusion: The evolution of these mobile elements is far more complex than hitherto assumed. Strict selfish replication does not explain all the patterns observed.
ACCESSION #
38122797

 

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