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Global survey of mobile DNA horizontal transfer in arthropods reveals Lepidoptera as a prime hotspot

Daphné Reiss 1 Gladys Mialdea 1 Vincent Miele 2 Damien M. de Vienne 3 Jean Peccoud 4 Clément Gilbert 4 Laurent Duret 5 Sylvain Charlat 1
1 Génétique et évolution des interactions hôtes-parasites
GINSENG - Département génétique, interactions et évolution des génomes [LBBE]
3 Le Cocon
PEGASE - Département PEGASE [LBBE]
4 EES - Ecologie, Evolution, Symbiose
EBI - Ecologie et biologie des interactions
Abstract : More than any other genome components, Transposable Elements (TEs) have the capacity to move across species barriers through Horizontal Transfer (HT), with substantial evolutionary consequences. Previous large-scale surveys, based on full-genomes comparisons, have revealed the transposition mode as an important predictor of HT rates variation across TE superfamilies. However, host biology could represent another major explanatory factor, one that needs to be investigated through extensive taxonomic sampling. Here we test this hypothesis using a field collection of 460 arthropod species from Tahiti and surrounding islands. Through targeted massive parallel sequencing, we uncover patterns of HT in three widely-distributed TE superfamilies with contrasted modes of transposition. In line with earlier findings, the DNA transposons under study (TC1-Mariner) were found to transfer horizontally at the highest frequency, closely followed by the LTR superfamily (Copia), in contrast with the non-LTR superfamily (Jockey), that mostly diversifies through vertical inheritance and persists longer within genomes. Strikingly, across all superfamilies, we observe a marked excess of HTs in Lepidoptera, an insect order that also commonly hosts baculoviruses, known for their ability to transport host TEs. These results turn the spotlight on baculoviruses as major potential vectors of TEs in arthropods, and further emphasize the importance of non-vertical TE inheritance in genome evolution.
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Daphné Reiss, Gladys Mialdea, Vincent Miele, Damien M. de Vienne, Jean Peccoud, et al.. Global survey of mobile DNA horizontal transfer in arthropods reveals Lepidoptera as a prime hotspot. PLoS Genetics, Public Library of Science, 2019, 15 (2), pp.e1007965. ⟨10.1371/journal.pgen.1007965⟩. ⟨hal-02140494⟩

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