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Journal Articles Genetica Year : 1997

A simulation of P element horizontal transfer in Drosophila


Experimental data suggest that the P transposable element has invaded the Drosophila melanogaster genome after a horizontal transfer from the phylogenetically distant species Drosophila willistoni. The differences between P element phylogeny and that of the Drosophila genus could in part be explained by horizontal transfers. In vivo experiments show that P elements are able to transpose in the genomes of other Drosophila species. This suggests that horizontal transmission of P elements could have taken place in many species of this genus. The regulation, transposition, and deleterious effects of the P element in D. melanogaster were formalized and integrated in a global model to produce a simulation program that simulates a P element invasion. The simulations show that our knowledge of the P element in D. melanogaster can explain its behavior in the Drosophila genus. The equilibrium state of the invaded population of a new species depends on its ability to repair damage caused by P element activity. If repair is efficient, the equilibrium state tends to be of the P type state, in which case the element could subsequently invade other populations of the species. Conversely, the equilibrium state is of the M' type state when the ability to repair damage is low. The invasion of the P element into other populations of this new species can then only occur by genetic drift and it is likely to be lost. The success of a P element invasion into a new species thus greatly depends on its ability to produce dysgenic crosses.

Dates and versions

hal-02695516 , version 1 (01-06-2020)



Hadi Quesneville, Dominique Anxolabéhère. A simulation of P element horizontal transfer in Drosophila. Genetica, 1997, 100 (1-3), pp.295-307. ⟨10.1023/A:1018362402815⟩. ⟨hal-02695516⟩


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