News from IBE
An international study led by Josefa González, principal investigator of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE), joint institute of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), reveals that the mobile genetic elements have a relevant role in adaptation to the environment. The study, published in PLOS Genetics, points at 300 mobile DNA elements involved in adaptation to the environment. Being the most extensive carried out to date, with the analysis of 60 populations of fruit fly, the work reveals that response to stress, embryonic development or behaviour are influenced by these genetic modifications.
"We have observed that mutations induced by mobile elements are closely related to the adaptation of fruit fly to its habitat", comments Josefa González. In particular, the study reveals that the response to stress, embryonic development or behaviour could be modulated by the mobile genetic elements.
Understanding the role of the mobile elements of the genome in adaptation may be crucial in deciphering the keys to evolution in many species, but also in understanding the resistance mechanisms of some bacteria to antibiotics or drugs such as chemotherapy.
Gabriel E. Rech et al. Stress response, behavior, and development are shaped by transposable element-induced mutations in Drosophila. PLOS Genetics; February 12, 2019; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pgen.1007900