RECURRENT AND RECENT SELECTIVE SWEEPS IN THE piRNA PATHWAY
Article first published online: 17 JAN 2013
© 2013 The Author(s). Evolution© 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Volume 67, Issue 4, pages 1081–1090, April 2013
How to Cite
Simkin, A., Wong, A., Poh, Y.-P., Theurkauf, W. E. and Jensen, J. D. (2013), RECURRENT AND RECENT SELECTIVE SWEEPS IN THE piRNA PATHWAY. Evolution, 67: 1081–1090. doi: 10.1111/evo.12011
- Issue published online: 3 APR 2013
- Article first published online: 17 JAN 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 21 NOV 2012 08:57AM EST
- Received March 7, 2012 Accepted October 25, 2012 Data Archived: Dryad doi:10.5061/dryad.1v8j7
- maternal effect;
- molecular evolution;
Uncontrolled transposable element (TE) insertions and excisions can cause chromosome breaks and mutations with dramatic deleterious effects. The PIWI interacting RNA (piRNA) pathway functions as an adaptive TE silencing system during germline development. Several essential piRNA pathway proteins appear to be rapidly evolving, suggesting that TEs and the silencing machinery may be engaged in a classical “evolutionary arms race.” Using a variety of molecular evolutionary and population genetic approaches, we find that the piRNA pathway genes rhino, krimper, and aubergine show patterns suggestive of extensive recurrent positive selection across Drosophila species. We speculate that selection on these proteins reflects crucial roles in silencing unfamiliar elements during vertical and horizontal transmission of TEs into naïve populations and species, respectively.