, Volume 86, Issue 1, pp 275-286

First online:

Horizontal transfer of P elements and other short inverted repeat transposons

  • M. G. KidwellAffiliated withDepartment of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona

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Evidence for horizontal transfer of the P family of transposable elements in the genus Drosophila is reviewed and evaluated, along with observations consistent with the recent invasion of Drosophila melanogaster by these elements. Some other examples of horizontal transfer involving other groups of transposable elements having short inverted terminal repeats are also briefly described. The sequential mechanistic steps likely to be involved in a horizontal transfer event are explored, including the requirement for suitable interspecific vectors or carriers. Finally, the frequency and significance of horizontal transfer of transposable elements are briefly discussed within an evolutionary framework.