Expansion of transposable elements offers clue to genetic paradox

phys.org | 3/19/2019 | Staff
Coraav (Posted by) Level 3
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Species often experience a genetic bottleneck that diminishes genetic variation after speciation or introduction into a new area. Though bottlenecks in population size always reduce fitness and evolutionary potential, introduced species often become invasive. This is known as the genetic paradox of invasion.

Now, a research group led by Prof. Guo Yalong from the Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IBCAS), together with SONG Ge, and Sureshkumar Balasubramanian from the School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Australia, has revealed that transposable element (TE) insertions could potentially help species with limited genetic variation adapt to novel environments.

Insertions - Phenotypic - Variation - Help - Plants

To evaluate how TE insertions drive rapid phenotypic variation and help plants adapt to new environments, the researchers compared an annual and inbreeding forb (Brassicaceae), Capsella rubella, to its outcrossing sister species Capsella grandiflora.

They found that transposable elements (TEs) are highly enriched in the gene promoter regions of C. rubella compared with its outcrossing sister species C. grandiflora.

Number - TEs - C - Rubella - Changes

Interestingly, they found that a number of polymorphic TEs in C. rubella are associated with changes in gene expression, including TEs inserted into...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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