DOI: 10.1101/458059Oct 31, 2018Paper

Dynamics of transposable element invasions with piRNA clusters

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Robert Kofler


In mammals and in invertebrates the proliferation of a newly invading transposable element (TE) is thought to be stopped by a random insertion of one member of the invading TE family into a piRNA cluster. This view is known as the trap model. Here we explore the dynamics of TE invasions under the trap model using large-scale computer simulations. We found that piRNA clusters confer a substantial benefit, effectively preventing extinction of host populations from an uncontrollable proliferation of deleterious TEs. We show that TE invasions under the trap model consists of three distinct phases: first the TE rapidly amplifies within the population, next TE proliferation is stopped by segregating cluster insertions and finally the TE is permanently inactivated by fixation of a cluster insertion. Suppression by segregating cluster insertions is unstable and bursts of TE activity may yet occur. The transpositon rate and the population size mostly influence the length of the phases but not the amount of TEs accumulating during an invasion. Solely the size of piRNA clusters was identified as a major factor influencing TE abundance. Investigating the impact of different cluster architectures we found that a single non-recombining clust...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Related Feeds

BioRxiv & MedRxiv Preprints

BioRxiv and MedRxiv are the preprint servers for biology and health sciences respectively, operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Here are the latest preprint articles (which are not peer-reviewed) from BioRxiv and MedRxiv.