Transposons and their role in eukaryotic evolution

Kolundžić, Ena (2009) Transposons and their role in eukaryotic evolution. Bachelor's thesis, Faculty of Science > Department of Biology.

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Transposons make an important part of the eukaryotic genome. They have been present in the genome of the eukaryotic ancestor and have been found in all sorts of organisms, but their success in different eukaryotic genomes has varied. One influence of transposon activity in the host genome manifests in wide differences in genome size observed among eukaryotes, even between closely related species, but that is not the only way in which transposons influenced eukaroytic evolution. Transposons are potent insertional mutagens and can cause changes that lead to partial or complete loss of gene function. Transposon excision is often incomplete and can cause deletions and inversions in the host genome. In some conditions transposon insertions and excisions can lead to generation of new alleles in eukaryotic genomes which are a major force underlying the diversification of species. Choromosomal rearrangements, caused by transposition, can bring a selective advantage to individuals carrying them and lead to the generation of new functional genes or speciation events. DNA transposon properties predispose transposons to elicit gene silencing mechanisms and heterochromatin formation and maintenance. One of the new theories about the role of transposons in eukaryotic evolution is that transposons can be used as a source of raw DNA material for the assembly of new genes and functions, taking advantage of those transposon properties that can be of use to the host genome.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's thesis)
Supervisor: Ivančić Baće, Ivana
Date: 2009
Number of Pages: 11
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Department of Biology
Depositing User: Silvana Šehić
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2014 11:12
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2014 11:12

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