Mobile genetic elements and sexual reproduction. Academic Article uri icon


  • Transposable elements (TE) are prominent components of most eukaryotic genomes. In addition to their possible participation in the origin of sexual reproduction in eukaryotes, they may be also involved in its maintenance as important contributors to the deleterious mutation load. Comparative analyses of transposon content in the genomes of sexually reproducing and anciently asexual species may help to understand the contribution of different TE classes to the deleterious load. The apparent absence of deleterious retrotransposons from the genomes of ancient asexuals is in agreement with the hypothesis that they may play a special role in the maintenance of sexual reproduction and in early extinction for which most species are destined upon the abandonment of sex.

publication date

  • 2005