What makes transposable elements move in the Drosophila genome

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Transposable elements (TEs), by their capacity of moving and inducing mutations in the genome, are considered important drivers of species evolution. The successful invasions of TEs in genomes, despite their mutational properties, are an apparent paradox. TEs transposition is usually strongly regulated to low value, but in some cases these elements can also show high transposition rates, which has been associated sometimes to changes in environmental conditions. It is evident that factors susceptible to induce transpositions in natural populations contribute to TE perpetuation. Different factors were proposed as causative agents of TE mobilization in a wide range of organisms: biotic and abiotic stresses, inter-and intraspecific crosses and populational factors. However, there is no clear evidence of the factors capable of inducing TE mobilization in Drosophila, and data on laboratory stocks show contradictory results. The aim of this review is to have an update critical revision about mechanisms promoting transposition of TEs in Drosophila, and to provide to the readers a global vision of the dynamics of these genomic elements in the Drosophila genome. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-468
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Drosophila
  • hybridization
  • populational factors
  • transposable elements
  • transposition rates


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