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The evolutionary dynamics of repetitive DNA in eukaryotes
- Charlesworth, B., Sniegowski, P., Stephan, W.
- Nature 1994 v.371 no.6494 pp. 215-220
- evolution, DNA, eukaryotic cells, population genetics, transposons
- Repetitive DNA sequences form a large portion of the genomes of eukaryotes. The 'selfish DNA' hypothesis proposes that they are maintained by their ability to replicate within the genome. The behaviour of repetitive sequences can result in mutations that cause genetlc diseases, and confer significant fitness losses on the organism. Features of the organization of repetitive sequences in eukaryotic genomes, and their distribution in natural populations, reflect the evolutionary forces acting on selfish DNA.