1. Evolutionary Biology
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Asexual reproduction reduces transposable element load in experimental yeast populations

  1. Jens Bast  Is a corresponding author
  2. Kamil S Jaron
  3. Donovan Schuseil
  4. Denis Roze
  5. Tanja Schwander
  1. University of Lausanne, Switzerland
  2. Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France
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Cite this article as: eLife 2019;8:e48548 doi: 10.7554/eLife.48548

Abstract

Theory predicts that sexual reproduction can either facilitate or restrain transposable element (TE) accumulation by providing TEs with a means of spreading to all individuals in a population, versus facilitating TE load reduction via purifying selection. By quantifying genomic TE loads over time in experimental sexual and asexual Saccharomyces cerevisiae populations, we provide direct evidence that TE loads decrease rapidly under asexual reproduction.. We show, using simulations, that this reduction may occus via evolution of TE activity, most likely via increased excision rates. Thus, sex is a major driver of genomic TE loads and at the root of the success of TEs.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Jens Bast

    Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
    For correspondence
    mail@jensbast.com
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-0017-3860
  2. Kamil S Jaron

    Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-1470-5450
  3. Donovan Schuseil

    Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Denis Roze

    Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Roscoff, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Tanja Schwander

    Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Funding

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (BA 5800/1-1)

  • Jens Bast

Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung (PP00P3_17062)

  • Tanja Schwander

Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung (PP00P3_139013)

  • Tanja Schwander

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (BA 5800/2-1)

  • Jens Bast

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Graham Coop, University of California, Davis, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: May 17, 2019
  2. Accepted: September 4, 2019
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: September 5, 2019 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: October 8, 2019 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2019, Bast et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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