Genomic parasites or symbionts? Modeling the effects of environmental pressure on transposition activity in asexual populations

Michał Startek , Arnaud Le Rouzic , Pierre Capy , Dariusz Grzebelus , Anna Gambin


Transposable elements are DNA segments capable of persisting in host genomes by self-replication in spite of deleterious mutagenic effects. The theoretical dynamics of these elements within genomes has been studied extensively, and population genetic models predict that they can invade and maintain as a result of both intra-genomic and inter-individual selection in sexual species. In asexuals, the success of selfish DNA is more difficult to explain. However, most theoretical work assumes constant environment. Here, we analyze the impact of environmental change on the dynamics of transposition activity when horizontal DNA exchange is absent, based on a stochastic computational model of transposable element proliferation. We argue that repeated changes in the phenotypic optimum in a multidimensional fitness landscape may induce explosive bursts of transposition activity associated with faster adaptation. However, long-term maintenance of transposition activity is unlikely. This could contribute to the significant variation in the transposable element copy number among closely related species.
Author Michał Startek
Michał Startek,,
, Arnaud Le Rouzic
Arnaud Le Rouzic,,
, Pierre Capy
Pierre Capy,,
, Dariusz Grzebelus (FoH / DoGPBaSS)
Dariusz Grzebelus,,
- Department of Genetics, Plant Breeding and Seed Science
, Anna Gambin
Anna Gambin,,
Journal seriesTheoretical Population Biology, ISSN 0040-5809, (A 20 pkt)
Issue year2013
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in Englishenvironmental change, transposable elements, evolvability, adaptation, genome
ASJC Classification1105 Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Internal identifierWBIO/2013/109
Languageen angielski
LicenseJournal (articles only); author's original; Uznanie Autorstwa - Użycie Niekomercyjne - Na tych samych warunkach (CC-BY-NC-SA); after publication
Genomic parasites or symbionts? Modeling the effects of environmental pressure on transposition activity in asexual populations of 27-05-2019
951,64 KB
Score (nominal)20
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2013 = 0.828; WoS Impact Factor: 2013 = 1.531 (2) - 2013=1.836 (5)
Citation count*7 (2016-06-29)
Additional fields
FinansowanieThis work was partially supported by Polish Ministry of Science and Education grant N301 013436, Polish National Science Center grant 2012/06/M/ST6/00438 and European Social Fund (UDA-POKL.04.01.01-00-072/09-00). ALR was supported by the European Reintegration Grant EVOLGA ERG-256507.
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