Horizontal transposon transfer and its implications for the ancestral ecology of hydrophiine snakes

Galbraith, James D., Ludington, Alastair J., Sanders, Kate L., Amos, Timothy G., Thomson, Vicki A., Enosi Tuipulotu, Daniel, Dunstan, Nathan, Edwards, Richard J., Suh, Alexander ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8979-9992 and Adelson, David L. (2022) Horizontal transposon transfer and its implications for the ancestral ecology of hydrophiine snakes. Genes, 13 (2). ISSN 2073-4425

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Transposable elements (TEs), also known as jumping genes, are sequences able to move or copy themselves within a genome. As TEs move throughout genomes they often act as a source of genetic novelty, hence understanding TE evolution within lineages may help in understanding environmental adaptation. Studies into the TE content of lineages of mammals such as bats have uncovered horizontal transposon transfer (HTT) into these lineages, with squamates often also containing the same TEs. Despite the repeated finding of HTT into squamates, little comparative research has examined the evolution of TEs within squamates. Here we examine a diverse family of Australo–Melanesian snakes (Hydrophiinae) to examine if the previously identified, order-wide pattern of variable TE content and activity holds true on a smaller scale. Hydrophiinae diverged from Asian elapids ~30 Mya and have since rapidly diversified into six amphibious, ~60 marine and ~100 terrestrial species that fill a broad range of ecological niches. We find TE diversity and expansion differs between hydrophiines and their Asian relatives and identify multiple HTTs into Hydrophiinae, including three likely transferred into the ancestral hydrophiine from fish. These HTT events provide the first tangible evidence that Hydrophiinae reached Australia from Asia via a marine route.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Data Availability Statement: The data presented in this study are freely available in Zenodo at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5820601
Uncontrolled Keywords: comparative genomics,serpentes,transposable element,genetics(clinical),genetics,sdg 14 - life below water ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700/2716
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2022 12:30
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2024 21:32
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/83551
DOI: 10.3390/genes13020217


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