Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Biol Evol. 2003 Jan;20(1):30-7.

Transiently beneficial insertions could maintain mobile DNA sequences in variable environments.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Genetics, University of Nottingham, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham, United Kingdom.

Abstract

The maintenance of mobile DNA sequences in clonal organisms has been seen as a paradox. If selfish mobile sequences spread through genomes only by overreplication in transposition, then sexuality is necessary for their spread through populations. The persistence of bacterial transposable elements without obvious dominant selectable markers has previously been explained by horizontal transfer. However, advantageous insertions of mobile DNAs are known in bacteria. Here we model maintenance of an otherwise selfish mobile DNA element in a clonal species in which selection for null mutations occurs during one of two temporally alternating environments. Large areas of parameter space permit maintenance of mobile DNAs where, without selection, they would have gone extinct. Horizontal transfer diminishes, rather than enhances, mean copy number. In finite populations, effective population sizes are greatly reduced by selective sweeps, and mean copy number can be increased as the reduced variance in copy number results in reduced selection.

PMID:
12519903
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk