The Behavior of a Daphnia pulex Transposable Element in Cyclically and Obligately Parthenogenetic Populations
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Using Southern blot analysis, we have characterized restriction fragment patterns of a transposable element, Pokey, in obligately and cyclically parthenogenetic populations of the cladoceran crustacean Daphnia pulex. We show that the element is most likely active in cyclically parthenogenetic populations but is, for the most part, inactive in obligate parthenogens. This result is consistent with theory suggesting that transposable element dynamics are likely to change with a change in reproductive mode. Such changes could have important consequences for the long-term evolutionary potential of obligate parthenogens and may also be informative with regard to the underlying mechanisms that regulate transposable element frequencies in sexual organisms.
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