Widespread horizontal transfer of retrotransposons

Ali Walsh, R Kortschak, Michael Gardner, Terry Bertozzi, David Adelson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    73 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In higher organisms such as vertebrates, it is generally believed that lateral transfer of genetic information does not readily occur, with the exception of retroviral infection. However, horizontal transfer (HT) of protein coding repetitive elements is the simplest way to explain the patchy distribution of BovB, a long interspersed element (LINE) about 3.2 kb long, that has been found in ruminants, marsupials, squamates, monotremes, and African mammals. BovB sequences are a major component of some of these genomes. Here we show that HT of BovB is significantly more widespread than believed, and we demonstrate the existence of two plausible arthropod vectors, specifically reptile ticks. A phylogenetic tree built from BovB sequences from species in all of these groups does not conform to expected evolutionary relationships of the species, and our analysis indicates that at least nine HT events are required to explain the observed topology. Our results provide compelling evidence for HT of genetic material that has transformed vertebrate genomes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1012-1016
    Number of pages5
    JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
    Volume110
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Widespread horizontal transfer of retrotransposons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this