The dynamics of murine LINE-1 subfamily amplification

N. Carol Casavant, Stephen C. Hardies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We have examined the dynamics of replication of the mouse LINE-1 retrotransposon within a single large expanding LINE-1 family found in a particular population of Mus spretus. This family has reached thousands of copies per haploid genome within 0.1 to 0.2 Myr and accounts for most, if not all, LINE-1 replication since 0.4 Myr ago. The family shows only one split into two clades during this time. From these data we propose a model that links the evolution of LINE-1 to the dynamics of its migration among mouse populations. We hypothesize that selected LINE-1 elements, referred to as master sequences, each amplify a subfamily within a distinct mouse population before migrating into the global mouse population. When these master sequences come in contact with each other by migration, generally one continues to expand at the expense of the other. We further discuss potential tests of this model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-397
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 18 1994


  • Gene flow
  • LINE-1 amplification
  • Mouse population genetics
  • Repetitive DNA
  • Transposons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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