Uma nova hipótese evolutiva proposta é apoiada por evidências encontradas em primatas

quinta-feira, julho 28, 2011

Mobile DNA and the TE-Thrust hypothesis: supporting evidence from the primates

Keith R Oliver1* and Wayne K Greene2

*Corresponding author: Keith R Oliver

Author Affiliations

1School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Murdoch University, Perth W. A. 6150, Australia

2School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Murdoch University, Perth W. A. 6150, Australia

Mobile DNA 2011, 2:8 doi:10.1186/1759-8753-2-8

Received: 23 February 2011
Accepted: 31 May 2011
Published: 31 May 2011

© 2011 Oliver and Greene; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Transposable elements (TEs) are increasingly being recognized as powerful facilitators of evolution. We propose the TE-Thrust hypothesis to encompass TE-facilitated processes by which genomes self-engineer coding, regulatory, karyotypic or other genetic changes. Although TEs are occasionally harmful to some individuals, genomic dynamism caused by TEs can be very beneficial to lineages. This can result in differential survival and differential fecundity of lineages. Lineages with an abundant and suitable repertoire of TEs have enhanced evolutionary potential and, if all else is equal, tend to be fecund, resulting in species-rich adaptive radiations, and/or they tend to undergo major evolutionary transitions. Many other mechanisms of genomic change are also important in evolution, and whether the evolutionary potential of TE-Thrust is realized is heavily dependent on environmental and ecological factors. The large contribution of TEs to evolutionary innovation is particularly well documented in the primate lineage. In this paper, we review numerous cases of beneficial TE-caused modifications to the genomes of higher primates, which strongly support our TE-Thrust hypothesis.