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  • Transposons and the evolution

    transposons-and-the-evolution1A team of researchers from the Autonomous University of Barcelona published a study showing that transposons can silence genes adjacent to or significantly reduce its expression by induction of synthesis of an antisense RNA. This new mechanism is now described, unknown until now, has been observed in the genome of Drosophila buzzatii. In the human genome sequences corresponding to transposons may account for up to 45% of genetic material.

    The work discussed is the extension of some previous studies by this group of the Department of Genetics and Microbiology at the UAB, which earned them a 1999 article in Science, which showed that the activity of the transposon generated a chromosomal inversion in D. Buzzatii, an event that often has adaptive value in this genus of insects. The connection with these evolutionary mechanisms are performed by the transposon Kepler, responsible for this gene silencing is now described by the group, which is found only in chromosomes with inversion induced by transposons, and not in individuals with the proper orientation of chromosomes after investment. The investment flies are larger and live longer than those that do not present, so the authors speculate that these differences are caused, in fact, for the silencing of genes adjacent to the insertion of Kepler. Thus, this new mechanism could explain the adaptive value of chromosomal inversions.

    Published on August 29, 2012 · Filed under: Bioscience, News; Tagged as: , , , , , , ,
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