J Mol Evol (2017) 85:169–171 DOI 10.1007/s00239-017-9818-4 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR piRNAs and Evolutionary Trajectories in Genome Size and Content Rachel Lockridge Mueller Received: 19 October 2017 / Accepted: 30 October 2017 / Published online: 6 November 2017 © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017 Transposable elements (TEs) are diverse sequences that Petrov 2002). Today, these explanations appear overly sim- move from one genomic locus to another using mechanisms plistic; they should be revisited, incorporating evolved dif- that include initiation of double-strand DNA breaks, integra- ferences in TE control pathways across species. However, to tion of sequences, and, for TEs with an RNA intermediate, date, relatively little research has focused on the evolution of reverse transcription (Craig et al. 2002). Novel TE inser- small RNA-based mechanisms of TE control (for examples, tions can disrupt protein function and gene expression. TE see Blumenstiel et al. 2016; Kelleher and Barbash 2013; sequences also cause ectopic recombination. Finally, TEs Madison-Villar et al. 2016). can sustain gain-of-function mutations, creating novel func- What challenges and opportunities exist in this emerging tional sequences (De Gobbi et al. 2006). Our understanding area? Many model organisms were chosen for their small, of TE diversity lags behind other portions of the genome, non-repetitive, and “tractable” genomes, but they provide
Journal of Molecular Evolution – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 6, 2017
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