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Gene. 2007 Apr 1;390(1-2):214-20. Epub 2006 Oct 5.

Genome ecosystem and transposable elements species.

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Laboratoire Evolution, Génome et Spéciation, CNRS, Avenue de la terrasse, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette, France.


Transposable elements are known to be "selfish DNA" sequences able to spread and be maintained in all genomes analyzed so far. Their evolution depends on the interaction they have with the other components of the genome, including genes and other transposable elements. These relationships are complex and have often been compared to those of species living and competing in an ecosystem. The aim of this current work is a proposition to fill the conceptual gap existing between genome biology and ecology, assuming that genomic components, such as transposable elements families, can be compared to species interacting in an ecosystem. Using this framework, some of the main models defined in the population genetics of transposable elements can then been reformulated, and some new kinds of realistic relationships, such as symbiosis between different genomic components, can then be modelled and explored.

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