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Nat Rev Genet. 2005 Feb;6(2):128-36.

The ecology of the genome - mobile DNA elements and their hosts.

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Institute of Genetics, University of Nottingham, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK.


The genomes of multicellular eukaryotes provide information that determines the phenotype. However, not all sequences in the genome are required for this purpose. Other sequences are often selfish in their actions and interact in complex ways. Here, an analogy is developed between the components of the genome, including mobile DNA elements, and an ecological community. Unlike ecological communities, however, the slow rates at which genomes change allow us to reconstruct patterns of interaction that stretch back tens or hundreds of millions of years.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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