Evolutionary dynamics of transposable elements in bdelloid rotifers

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2021
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Nowell, Reuben W.
Wilson, Christopher G.
Almeida, Pedro
Schiffer, Philipp H.
Fontaneto, Diego
Rodriguez, Fernando
Arkhipova, Irina R.
Barraclough, Timothy G.
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eLife. eLife Sciences Publications. 2021, 10, e63194. eISSN 2050-084X. Available under: doi: 10.7554/eLife.63194
Zusammenfassung

Transposable elements (TEs) are selfish genomic parasites whose ability to spread autonomously is facilitated by sexual reproduction in their hosts. If hosts become obligately asexual, TE frequencies and dynamics are predicted to change dramatically, but the long-term outcome is unclear. Here, we test current theory using whole-genome sequence data from eight species of bdelloid rotifers, a class of invertebrates in which males are thus far unknown. Contrary to expectations, we find a variety of active TEs in bdelloid genomes, at an overall frequency within the range seen in sexual species. We find no evidence that TEs are spread by cryptic recombination or restrained by unusual DNA repair mechanisms. Instead, we find that that TE content evolves relatively slowly in bdelloids and that gene families involved in RNAi-mediated TE suppression have undergone significant expansion, which might mitigate the deleterious effects of active TEs and compensate for the consequences of long-term asexuality.

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570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
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ISO 690NOWELL, Reuben W., Christopher G. WILSON, Pedro ALMEIDA, Philipp H. SCHIFFER, Diego FONTANETO, Lutz BECKS, Fernando RODRIGUEZ, Irina R. ARKHIPOVA, Timothy G. BARRACLOUGH, 2021. Evolutionary dynamics of transposable elements in bdelloid rotifers. In: eLife. eLife Sciences Publications. 2021, 10, e63194. eISSN 2050-084X. Available under: doi: 10.7554/eLife.63194
BibTex
@article{Nowell2021-02-05Evolu-53378,
  year={2021},
  doi={10.7554/eLife.63194},
  title={Evolutionary dynamics of transposable elements in bdelloid rotifers},
  volume={10},
  journal={eLife},
  author={Nowell, Reuben W. and Wilson, Christopher G. and Almeida, Pedro and Schiffer, Philipp H. and Fontaneto, Diego and Becks, Lutz and Rodriguez, Fernando and Arkhipova, Irina R. and Barraclough, Timothy G.},
  note={Article Number: e63194}
}
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