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The evolution of mobile DNAs: when will transposons create phylogenies that look as if there is a master gene?

Brookfield, J. F. and Johnson, L. J. (2006) The evolution of mobile DNAs: when will transposons create phylogenies that look as if there is a master gene? Genetics, 173 (2). pp. 1115-23. ISSN 0016-6731

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1534/genetics.104.027219

Abstract/Summary

Some families of mammalian interspersed repetitive DNA, such as the Alu SINE sequence, appear to have evolved by the serial replacement of one active sequence with another, consistent with there being a single source of transposition: the "master gene." Alternative models, in which multiple source sequences are simultaneously active, have been called "transposon models." Transposon models differ in the proportion of elements that are active and in whether inactivation occurs at the moment of transposition or later. Here we examine the predictions of various types of transposon model regarding the patterns of sequence variation expected at an equilibrium between transposition, inactivation, and deletion. Under the master gene model, all bifurcations in the true tree of elements occur in a single lineage. We show that this property will also hold approximately for transposon models in which most elements are inactive and where at least some of the inactivation events occur after transposition. Such tree shapes are therefore not conclusive evidence for a single source of transposition.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences
ID Code:10133
Uncontrolled Keywords:Alu Elements, Animals, DNA Transposable Elements/*genetics, *Evolution, Molecular, Humans, Interspersed Repetitive Sequences, *Models, Genetic, Phylogeny, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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