Using bioinformatic and phylogenetic approaches to classify transposable elements and understand their complex evolutionary histories
Arkhipova, Irina R.
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In recent years, much attention has been paid to comparative genomic studies of transposable elements (TEs) and the ensuing problems of their identification, classification, and annotation. Different approaches and diverse automated pipelines are being used to catalogue and categorize mobile genetic elements in the ever-increasing number of prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes, with little or no connectivity between different domains of life. Here, an overview of the current picture of TE classification and evolutionary relationships is presented, updating the diversity of TE types uncovered in sequenced genomes. A tripartite TE classification scheme is proposed to account for their replicative, integrative, and structural components, and the need to expand in vitro and in vivo studies of their structural and biological properties is emphasized. Bioinformatic studies have now become front and center of novel TE discovery, and experimental pursuits of these discoveries hold great promise for both basic and applied science.
© The Author(s), 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Mobile DNA 8 (2017): 19, doi:10.1186/s13100-017-0103-2.
Suggested CitationMobile DNA 8 (2017): 19
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