Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

The evolution of transposable elements in natural populations of self-fertilizing Arabidopsis thaliana and its outcrossing relative Arabidopsis lyrata

  • Author(s): Lockton, Steven
  • Gaut, Brandon S
  • et al.
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License
Abstract

Background

Transposable Elements (TEs) make up the majority of plant genomes, and thus understanding TE evolutionary dynamics is key to understanding plant genome evolution. Plant reproductive systems are diverse and mating type variation is one factor among many hypothesized to influence TE evolutionary dynamics. Here, we collected a large TE-display data set in self-fertilizing Arabidopsis thaliana, and compared it to data gathered in outcrossing Arabidopsis lyrata. We analyzed seven TE families in four natural populations of each species to tease apart the effects of mating system, demography, transposition, and selection in determining patterns of TE diversity.

Results

Measures of TE band differentiation were largely consistent across TE families. However, patterns of diversity in A. thaliana Ac elements differed significantly from that other TEs, perhaps signaling a lack of recent transposition. Across TE families, we estimated higher allele frequencies and lower selection coefficients on A. thaliana TE insertions relative to A. lyrata TE insertions.

Conclusions

The differences in TE distributions between the two Arabidopsis species represents a synthesis of evolutionary forces that include the transposition dynamics of individual TE families and the demographic histories of populations. There are also species-specific differences that could be attributed to the effects of mating system, including higher overall allele frequencies in the selfing lineage and a greater proportion of among population TE diversity in the outcrossing lineage.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View