The role of selfish genetic elements in eukaryotic evolution

Hurst, GDDW, J. H.,  Nature Reviews Genetics,  2:597-606. 2001.

‘Selfish genetic elements’, such as transposons, homing endonucleases, meiotic drive chromosomes and heritable microorganisms, are common features of eukaryotes. However, their importance in the evolution of eukaryotic genomes is still controversial. In this review, we discuss these diverse elements and their potential importance in the evolution of genetic systems, adaptation, and the extinction and birth of species.