In order to understand how DNA sequences of transposable elements (TEs) evolve, extensive simulations were carried out. We first used our previous model, in which the copy number of TEs is mainly controlled by selection against ectopic recombination. It was found that along a simulation run, the shape of phylogeny changes quite much, from monophyletic trees to dimorphic trees with two clusters. Our results demonstrated that the change of the phase is usually slow from a monomorphic phase to a dimorphic phase, accompanied with a growth of an internal branch by accumulation of variation between two types. Then, the phase immediately changes back to a monomorphic phase when one group gets extinct. Under this condition, monomorphic and dimorphic phases arise repeatedly, and it is very difficult to maintain two or more different types of TEs for a long time. Then, how a new subfamily can evolve? To solve this, we developed a new model, in which ectopic recombination is restricted between two types under some condition, for example, accumulation of mutations between them. Under this model, because selection works on the copy number of each types separately, two types can be maintained for a long time. As expected, our simulations demonstrated that a new type arises and persists quite stably, and that it will be recognized as a new subfamily followed by further accumulation of mutations. It is indicated that how ectopic recombination is regulated in a genome is an important factor for the evolution of a new subfamily.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Molecular Biology