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How have transposable elements contributed to the evolution of the eukaryote genome?

How have transposable elements contributed to the evolution of the eukaryote genome?

Discuss the different types of pseudogenes found in eukaryote genomes.

Discuss the phenomenon of gene and genome duplications and how they have contributed to the evolution of the eukaryote genome.

What fates can befall the products of gene duplication? (You can use the globin gene cluster as an example.)

Discuss the proposition that exon shuffling and alternate splicing provide a means for generating diversity in protein structure.

Solution Preview

This is kind of a big question and maybe worth more than 1 credit.
I worked in a thesis lab that specialized in transposons. I'll do the best I can.
First of all, whenever you have an active transposon, the genome is at risk for major and possibly multiple mutations. We all have transposons, however, they are inactive which causes us to think that they were active at one point and served a purpose. Transposons have contributed to the evolution of the eukaryote genome by providing a venue in for genomic change. Transposons are a major culprit in speciation. If a transposon hops into a certain gene which is not necessary for development and the organism survives long enough to pass on that information then that is the beginning of a possible new species. One theory in evolution is the idea of spontaneous mutations which happen quite infrequently. However, with an active transposon, the genome is unstable and mutations happen very quickly. You can imagine with random insertions into multiple genomes, the outcome is many different altered genomes branching generation after generation ...

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