Keywords: selfish genetic element

Discovery of 119-Million-Year-Old “Selfish” Genes Casts Doubt on Established Evolution Beliefs

Stowers Institute for Medical Research,  SciTechDaily,  2022.
Meiotic drivers, a kind of selfish gene, are indeed selfish. They are found in virtually all species’ genomes, including humans, and unjustly transfer their genetic material to more than half of their offspring, resulting in infertility and impaired organism health. Their ...
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Discovery of 119-Million year old Selfish Genes Casts Doubt on Established Evolution Beliefs

Stowers Institute for Medical Research,  Stowers Institute for Medical Research,  2022.
Meiotic drivers, a kind of selfish gene, are indeed selfish. They are found in virtually all species’ genomes, including humans, and unjustly transfer their genetic material to more than half of their offspring, resulting in infertility and impaired organism health. Their ...
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Selfish evolution of placental hormones

G. Keegan and M. M. Patten,  Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health,  10:391-397. 2022.
We hypothesize that some placental hormones—specifically those that arise by tandem duplication of genes for maternal hormones—may behave as gestational drivers, selfish genetic elements that encourage the spontaneous abortion of offspring that fail to inherit them. Such ...
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B Chromosomes in Psalidodon scabripinnis (Characiformes, Characidae) Species Complex

D. Silva, J. P. Castro, C. A. G. Goes, R. Utsunomia, M. R. Vidal, C. N. Nascimento, L. F. Lasmar, F. G. Paim, L. B. Soares, C. Oliveira, F. Porto-Foresti, R. F. Artoni and F. Foresti,  Animals (Basel),  12. 2022.
B chromosomes are extra-genomic components of cells found in individuals and in populations of some eukaryotic organisms. They have been described since the first observations of chromosomes, but several aspects of their biology remain enigmatic. Despite being present in hundreds ...
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Isolation of rfk-2 (UV) , a mutation that blocks spore killing by Neurospora Spore killer-3

A. Velazquez, E. Webber, D. O'Neil, T. Hammond and N. Rhoades,  MicroPublication Biology,  2022.
Neurospora Spore killer-3 ( Sk-3 ) is a selfish genetic element that kills spores to achieve gene drive.  Here, to help identify Sk-3’s killer, we performed a genetic screen for required for killing (rfk) mutations (see methods). The genetic screen uses Sk‑3 rskΔ × SkS ...
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Unbalanced selection: the challenge of maintaining a social polymorphism when a supergene is selfish

A. G. Tafreshi, S. P. Otto and M. Chapuisat,  Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci,  377:20210197. 2022.
Supergenes often have multiple phenotypic effects, including unexpected detrimental ones, because recombination suppression maintains associations among co-adapted alleles but also allows the accumulation of recessive deleterious mutations and selfish genetic elements. Yet, ...
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Active genetics comes alive

V. M. Gantz and E. Bier,  BioEssays,  2022.
Abstract Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)-based ?active genetic? elements developed in 2015 bypassed the fundamental rules of traditional genetics. Inherited in a super-Mendelian fashion, such selfish genetic entities offered a variety of ...
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Mendelian nightmares: the germline-restricted chromosome of songbirds

P. Borodin, A. Chen, W. Forstmeier, S. Fouché, L. Malinovskaya, Y. Pei, R. Reifová, F. J. Ruiz-Ruano, S. A. Schlebusch, M. Sotelo-Muñoz, A. Torgasheva, N. Vontzou and A. Suh,  Chromosome Res,  2022.
Germline-restricted chromosomes (GRCs) are accessory chromosomes that occur only in germ cells. They are eliminated from somatic cells through programmed DNA elimination during embryo development. GRCs have been observed in several unrelated animal taxa and show peculiar modes of ...
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The non-Mendelian behavior of plant B chromosomes

J. Chen, J. A. Birchler and A. Houben,  Chromosome Res,  2022.
B chromosomes, also known as supernumerary chromosomes, are dispensable elements in the genome of many plants, animals, and fungi. Many B chromosomes have evolved one or more drive mechanisms to transmit themselves at a higher frequency than predicted by Mendelian genetics, and ...
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B-A Chromosome Translocations Possessing an A Centromere Partly Overcome the Root-Restricted Process of Chromosome Elimination in Aegilops speltoides

D. Li, A. Ruban, J. Fuchs, H. Kang and A. Houben,  Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology,  10. 2022.
Some eukaryotes exhibit dramatic genome size differences between cells of different organs, resulting from the programmed elimination of chromosomes. Aegilops speltoides is an annual diploid species from the Poaceae family, with a maximum number of eight B chromosomes (Bs) in ...
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Selfish gene leaves bacteria behind

A. York,  Nature Reviews Microbiology,  2021.
Mitochondrial genome evolution is characterized by functional streamlining and gene loss, and gain-of-function gene transfers into the mitochondrial genome are considered rare events. Milner, et al. identified a functional restriction modification (R-M) system in the ...
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A functional bacteria-derived restriction modification system in the mitochondrion of a heterotrophic protist

D. A.-O. Milner, J. A.-O. Wideman, C. A.-O. Stairs, C. D. Dunn and T. A.-O. Richards,  PLoS Biology,  2021.
The overarching trend in mitochondrial genome evolution is functional streamlining coupled with gene loss. Therefore, gene acquisition by mitochondria is considered to be exceedingly rare. Selfish elements in the form of self-splicing introns occur in many organellar genomes, but ...
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Regulating the expression of gene drives is key to increasing their invasive potential and the mitigation of resistance

A. Hammond, X. Karlsson, I. Morianou, K. Kyrou, A. Beaghton, M. Gribble, N. Kranjc, R. Galizi, A. Burt, A. Crisanti and T. Nolan,  PLOS Genetics,  17:e1009321. 2021.
Here we show that restricting the cutting activity of the gene drive to the germline tissue is crucial to maintaining its potency and we illustrate how failure to restrict this activity can lead to the generation of mutations that can make mosquitoes resistant to the gene drive.
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Widespread haploid-biased gene expression enables sperm-level natural selection

K. Bhutani, K. Stansifer, S. Ticau, L. Bojic, A.-C. Villani, J. Slisz, C. M. Cremers, C. Roy, J. Donovan, B. Fiske and R. C. Friedman,  Science,  eabb1723. 2021.
Here, we show that a large class of mammalian genes are not completely shared across these bridges. We term these genes “genoinformative markers” (GIMs) and show that a subset can act as selfish genetic elements that spread alleles unevenly through murine, bovine, and human ...
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Invasion and maintenance of spore killers in populations of ascomycete fungi

I. Martinossi-Allibert, C. Veller, S. L. Ament-Velásquez, A. A. Vogan, C. Rueffler and H. Johannesson,  bioRxiv,  2020.04.06.026989. 2020.
We show how ploidy level, rate of selfing, and efficiency of spore killing affect the invasion probability of a driving allele and the conditions for its stable coexistence with the non-driving allele. Our model can be adapted to different fungal life-cycles, and is applied here ...
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Gene drive and resilience through renewal with next generation Cleave and Rescue selfish genetic elements

G. Oberhofer, T. Ivy and B. A. Hay,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  117:9013-9021. 2020.
Gene drive can spread beneficial traits through populations, but will never be a one-shot project in which one genetic element provides all desired modifications, for an indefinitely long time. Here, we show that gene drive-mediated population modification in Drosophila can be ...
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The impact of local population genetic background on the spread of the selfish element Medea-1 in red flour beetles

S. A. Cash, M. A. Robert, M. D. Lorenzen and F. Gould,  Ecology and Evolution,  12:1-12. 2019.
Selfish genetic elements have been found in the genomes of many species, yet our understanding of their evolutionary dynamics is only partially understood. A number of distinct selfish Medea elements are naturally present in many populations of the red flour beetle (Tribolium ...
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The distribution and spread of naturally occurring Medea selfish genetic elements in the United States

S. A. Cash, M. D. Lorenzen and F. Gould,  Ecology and Evolution,  9:14407–14416.. 2019.
Selfish genetic elements (SGEs) are DNA sequences that are transmitted to viable offspring in greater than Mendelian frequencies. Medea SGEs occur naturally in some populations of red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum) and are expected to increase in frequency within populations ...
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Fitness consequences of the selfish supergene Segregation Distorter

H. W. S. Wong and L. Holman,  Journal of Evolutionary Biology,  33:89-100. 2019.
Segregation distorters are selfish genetic elements that subvert Mendelian inheritance, often by destroying gametes that do not carry the distorter. Simple theoretical models predict that distorter alleles will either spread to fixation or stabilize at some high intermediate ...
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Standard deviations: The biological bases of transmission ratio distortion

L. Fishman and M. McIntosh,  Annual Review of Genetics,  53:347-372. 2019.
The rule of Mendelian inheritance is remarkably robust, but deviations from the equal transmission of alternative alleles at a locus [a.k.a. transmission ratio distortion (TRD)] are also commonly observed in genetic mapping populations. Such TRD reveals locus-specific selection ...
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Combinations of Spok genes create multiple meiotic drivers in Podospora

A. A. Vogan, S. L. Ament-Velásquez, A. Granger-Farbos, J. Svedberg, E. Bastiaans, A. J. M. Debets, V. Coustou, H. Yvanne, C. Clavé, S. J. Saupe and H. Johannesson,  eLife,  8:e46454. 2019.
Meiotic drive is the preferential transmission of a particular allele during sexual reproduction. The phenomenon is observed as spore killing in multiple fungi. In natural populations of Podospora anserina, seven spore killer types (Psks) have been identified through classical ...
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A family of killers

M. De Carvalho and S. E. Zanders,  eLife,  8:e49211. 2019.
Spok genes are meiotic drivers that increase their own chances of transmission by killing gametes that do not inherit them.
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Engineered Reciprocal Chromosome Translocations Drive High Threshold, Reversible Population Replacement in Drosophila

Buchman, ABI, Tobin; Marshall, John M.; Akbari, Omar S.; Hay, Bruce A.,  ACS Synthetic Biology,  7:1359-1370. 2018.
Replacement of wild insect populations with transgene-bearing individuals unable to transmit disease or survive under specific environmental conditions using gene drive provides a self-perpetuating method of disease prevention. Mechanisms that require the gene drive element and ...
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How selfish DNA hijacks its way into egg cells

Science Magazine,  Science,  2017.
This video was produced by Science magazine and explains and illustrates how gonotaxis or the asymmetrical allocation of chromosomes to developing female gametes occurs in mice. This video reflects an understanding of this process based on the publication by Akera et al (2017).
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Spindle asymmetry drives non-Mendelian chromosome segregation

T. Akera, L. Chmátal, E. Trimm, K. Yang, C. Aonbangkhen, D. M. Chenoweth, C. Janke, R. M. Schultz and M. A. Lampson,  Science,  358:668. 2017.
Genetic elements compete for transmission through meiosis, when haploid gametes are created from a diploid parent. Selfish elements can enhance their transmission through a process known as meiotic drive. In female meiosis, selfish elements drive by preferentially attaching to ...
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A maternal-effect selfish genetic element in Caenorhabditis elegans

E. Ben-David, A. Burga and L. Kruglyak,  Science,  356:1051. 2017.
We discovered a selfish element causing embryonic lethality in crosses between wild strains of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.
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Poisons, antidotes, and selfish genes

N. Phadnis,  Science,  356:1013. 2017.
On page1051 of this issue, BenDavid et al . (3) chase down a serendipitous observation of an anomaly in genetic crosses to unmask a toxin-antidote type of selfish system in worms.
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Meiotic drive changes sperm precedence patterns in house mice: potential for male alternative mating tactics?

Sutter, AL, A. K.,  BMC Evolutionary Biology,  16:15. 2016.
Background: With female multiple mating (polyandry), male-male competition extends to after copulation (sperm competition). Males respond to this selective pressure through physiological, morphological and behavioural adaptations. Sperm competitiveness is commonly decreased in ...
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