University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

Title

Recurrent and recent selective sweeps in the piRNA pathway

UMMS Affiliation

Program in Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology; Program in Molecular Medicine

Publication Date

4-2013

Document Type

Article

Subjects

DNA Transposable Elements; RNA, Small Interfering

Disciplines

Biochemistry | Evolution | Genetics and Genomics | Molecular Genetics

Abstract

Uncontrolled transposable element (TE) insertions and excisions can cause chromosome breaks and mutations with dramatic deleterious effects. The PIWI interacting RNA (piRNA) pathway functions as an adaptive TE silencing system during germline development. Several essential piRNA pathway proteins appear to be rapidly evolving, suggesting that TEs and the silencing machinery may be engaged in a classical "evolutionary arms race." Using a variety of molecular evolutionary and population genetic approaches, we find that the piRNA pathway genes rhino, krimper, and aubergine show patterns suggestive of extensive recurrent positive selection across Drosophila species. We speculate that selection on these proteins reflects crucial roles in silencing unfamiliar elements during vertical and horizontal transmission of TEs into naive populations and species, respectively.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Evolution. 2013 Apr;67(4):1081-90. doi: 10.1111/evo.12011. Epub 2013 Jan 17. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution

PubMed ID

23550757