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J Mol Evol. 2006 Aug;63(2):262-73. Epub 2006 Jul 7.

The evolutionary history of the transposable element Penelope in the Drosophila virilis group of species.

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Molecular Evolution Laboratory, IBMC, University of Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre 823, 4150-180, Porto, Portugal.


We have used phylogenetic techniques to study the evolutionary history of the Penelope transposable element in the Drosophila virilis species group. Two divergent types of Penelope have been detected, one previously described, clade I, and a new one which we have termed clade III. The phylogeny of some copies of the Penelope clade I element was partially consistent with the species phylogeny of the D. montana subphylad, suggesting cospeciation and allowing the estimation of the evolutionary rate of Penelope. Divergence times of elements found in different species are younger than the age of the species, suggesting horizontal transfer events.

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