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Birth, School, Work, Death, and Resurrection: The Life Stages and Dynamics of Transposable Element Proliferation

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66049, USA
Genes 2019, 10(5), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10050336
Received: 21 March 2019 / Revised: 18 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 3 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Repetitive DNA Sequences)
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Abstract

Transposable elements (TEs) can be maintained in sexually reproducing species even if they are harmful. However, the evolutionary strategies that TEs employ during proliferation can modulate their impact. In this review, I outline the different life stages of a TE lineage, from birth to proliferation to extinction. Through their interactions with the host, TEs can exploit diverse strategies that range from long-term coexistence to recurrent movement across species boundaries by horizontal transfer. TEs can also engage in a poorly understood phenomenon of TE resurrection, where TE lineages can apparently go extinct, only to proliferate again. By determining how this is possible, we may obtain new insights into the evolutionary dynamics of TEs and how they shape the genomes of their hosts. View Full-Text
Keywords: transposable element; horizontal transfer; arms race; LINE-1; Alu; hobo; I element transposable element; horizontal transfer; arms race; LINE-1; Alu; hobo; I element
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Blumenstiel, J.P. Birth, School, Work, Death, and Resurrection: The Life Stages and Dynamics of Transposable Element Proliferation. Genes 2019, 10, 336.

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