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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Evolutionary dynamics of transposable elements in bdelloid rotifers
Author(s): Nowell, Reuben W
Wilson, Christopher G
Almeida, Pedro
Schiffer, Philipp H
Fontaneto, Diego
Becks, Lutz
Rodriguez, Fernando
Arkhipova, Irina R
Barraclough, Timothy G
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Keywords: General Immunology and Microbiology
General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
General Medicine
General Neuroscience
Issue Date: 8-Mar-2021
Date Deposited: 17-Apr-2024
Citation: Nowell RW, Wilson CG, Almeida P, Schiffer PH, Fontaneto D, Becks L, Rodriguez F, Arkhipova IR & Barraclough TG (2021) Evolutionary dynamics of transposable elements in bdelloid rotifers. <i>eLife</i>, 10, Art. No.: e63194.
Abstract: Transposable elements (TEs) are selfish genomic parasites whose ability to spread autonomously is facilitated by sexual reproduction in their hosts. If hosts become obligately asexual, TE frequencies and dynamics are predicted to change dramatically, but the long-term outcome is unclear. Here, we test current theory using whole-genome sequence data from eight species of bdelloid rotifers, a class of invertebrates in which males are thus far unknown. Contrary to expectations, we find a variety of active TEs in bdelloid genomes, at an overall frequency within the range seen in sexual species. We find no evidence that TEs are spread by cryptic recombination or restrained by unusual DNA repair mechanisms. Instead, we find that that TE content evolves relatively slowly in bdelloids and that gene families involved in RNAi-mediated TE suppression have undergone significant expansion, which might mitigate the deleterious effects of active TEs and compensate for the consequences of long-term asexuality.
DOI Link: 10.7554/elife.63194
Rights: © 2021, Nowell et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
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