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Mol Biol Evol. 1992 Nov;9(6):1050-60.

Horizontal transfer of hobo transposable elements within the Drosophila melanogaster species complex: evidence from DNA sequencing.

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Department of Biology, City College of the City University of New York, New York 10031.


The hobo family of transposable elements, one of three transposable-element families that cause hybrid dysgenesis in Drosophila melanogaster, appears to be present in all members of the D. melanogaster species complex: D. melanogaster, D. simulans, D. mauritiana, and D. sechellia. Some hobo-hybridizing sequences are also found in the other members of the melanogaster subgroup and in many members of the related montium subgroup. Surveys of older isofemale lines of D. melanogaster suggest that complete hobo elements were absent prior to 50 years ago and that hobo has recently been introduced into the species by horizontal transfer. To test the horizontal transfer hypothesis, the 2.6-kb XhoI fragments of hobo elements from D. melanogaster, D. simulans, and D. mauritiana were cloned and sequenced. The DNA sequences reveal an extremely low level of divergence and support the conclusion that the active hobo element has been horizontally transferred into or among these species in the recent past.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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