ellen3

Our current research interests focus on the impact of mobile DNA, (like transposable elements) on the evolution of genome architecture. Transposable elements are parasitic genetic units capable of movement in the genome. This movement can alter gene expression and genome organization. We are particularly interested in how life history traits, such as parasitism, promote transposable element proliferation and in turn influences adaptation. For example, we study how mobile DNA facilitates genome evolution in disease causing pathogenic protozoans (like Trichomonas vaginalis, Phytophthora infestans, Entamoeba sp. and Toxoplasma gondii) when a new niche or environment is colonized or when host switching occurs. We hypothesize that the combination of the effects of non-adaptive processes (like drift) and the exposure to new flora can facilitate both the acquisition via horizontal transfer and the proliferation of transposable elements. The proliferation of transposable elements can facilitate rapid change because they are potent mutagens and provide the platform for recombination. Along these lines we are investigating the role of viruses in the horizontal transfer of transposable elements between eukaryotes.

Some of our laboratory objectives include developing an understanding of:

1. The identification and distribution of novel forms of repetitive DNA.
2. The role of mobile DNA in genome evolution.
3. The influence of nonadaptive processes on mobile DNA proliferation.
4. The role of viruses in the horizontal transfer of transposable elements between eukaryotes.

Our current research interests focus on the impact of mobile DNA, (like transposable elements) on the evolution of genome architecture. Transposable elements are parasitic genetic units capable of movement in the genome. This movement can alter gene expression and genome organization. We are particularly interested in how life history traits, such as parasitism, promote transposable element proliferation and in turn influences adaptation. For example, we study how mobile DNA facilitates genome evolution in disease causing pathogenic protozoans (like Trichomonas vaginalis, Phytophthora infestans, Entamoeba sp. and Toxoplasma gondii) when a new niche or environment is colonized or when host switching occurs. We hypothesize that the combination of the effects of non-adaptive processes (like drift) and the exposure to new flora can facilitate both the acquisition via horizontal transfer and the proliferation of transposable elements. The proliferation of transposable elements can facilitate rapid change because they are potent mutagens and provide the platform for recombination. Along these lines we are investigating the role of viruses in the horizontal transfer of transposable elements between eukaryotes.

Some of our laboratory objectives include developing an understanding of:

1. The identification and distribution of novel forms of repetitive DNA.
2. The role of mobile DNA in genome evolution.
3. The influence of nonadaptive processes on mobile DNA proliferation.
4. The role of viruses in the horizontal transfer of transposable elements between eukaryotes.

Links:

Publications in PubMed

References to Publications:

Thomas J, Phillips CD, Baker RJ, Pritham EJ. Rolling-circle transposons catalyze genomic innovation in a mammalian lineage. Genome Biol Evol. 2014 Sep 14;6(10)
PMID: 25223768

Thomas J, Vadnagara K, Pritham EJ. DINE-1, the highest copy number repeats in Drosophila melanogaster are non-autonomous endonuclease-encoding rolling-circle transposable elements (Helentrons).
Mob DNA. 2014 Jun 4;5:18. doi: 10.1186/1759-8753-5-18.

Curtis BA et al. Algal genomes reveal evolutionary mosaicism and the fate of nucleomorphs. Nature 2012.

Thomas J, Sorourian M, Ray D, Baker RJ, Pritham EJ. The limited distribution of Helitrons to vesper bats supports horizontal transfer. Gene. 2011 (474;1-2:52-8).

Colbourne JK et al. The ecoresponsive genome of Daphnia pulex. Science. 2011 Feb 4;331(6017):555-61.

Arensburger P et al. (2010) Sequencing of Culex quinquefasciatus establishes a platform for mosquito comparative genomics. Science. Oct 1; 330(6000):86-88.

Thomas J, Schaack S, & Pritham EJ (2010) Pervasive horizontal transfer of rolling-circle transposons among animals. Genome Biology and Evolution, Aug 6; 185(4): 1507-17.

Marquez CP & Pritham EJ (2010) Phantom, a New Subclass of Mutator DNA Transposons Found in Insect Viruses and Widely Distributed in Animals. Genetics, May 2010.

Schaack S, Choi E, Lynch M, Pritham EJ (2010) DNA transposons and the role of recombination in mutation accumulation in Daphnia pulex. Genome Biol. 2010 Apr 30;11(4).

Schaack S, Pritham EJ, Wolf A & Lynch M (2010) DNA transposon dynamics in populations of Daphnia pulex with and without sex. Proc Biol Sci. March 31.

The International Brachypodium Initiative (2010) Genome sequencing and analysis of the model grass Brachypodium distachyon. Nature 463, 763-768.

Feschotte C & Pritham EJ (2009) A cornucopia of Helitrons shapes the maize genome. PNAS 106 (47), 19747–19748.

Pritham, EJ (2009) Transposable elements and factors influencing their success in eukaryotes. J Hered.100(5), 648-55.

Bustos O, Naik S, Ayers G, Casola C, Perez-Lamigueiro MA, Chippindale PT, Pritham EJ, de la Casa-Esperón E. (2009) Evolution of the Schlafen genes, a gene family associated with embryonic lethality, meiotic drive, immune processes and orthopoxvirus virulence. Gene 447 (1), 1-11.

Ray DA, Feschotte C, Pagan HJ, Smith JD, Pritham EJ, Arensburger P, Atkinson PW, Craig NL (2008) Multiple waves of recent DNA transposon activity in the bat, Myotis lucifugus. Genome Res. 2008 May;18(5):717-28.

Feschotte C & Pritham EJ (2007) DNA Transposons and the Evolution of Eukaryotic Genomes. in Annual Review of Genetics Vol. 41 in press for December 2007.

Pritham EJ & C Feschotte (2007) Massive amplification of rolling-circle transposons in the lineage of the bat Myotis lucifugus: PNAS vol.104 (6),1895–1900.

Feschotte C & Pritham EJ (2007) Computational Analysis and Paleogenomics of Interspersed Repeats in Eukaryotes. in Computational Genomics: Current Methods Ed: N. Stojanovic. Horizon Scientific Press Pp. 31-53 2007.

Pritham EJ, Putliwala T & Feschotte C (2007) Mavericks, a novel class of giant transposable elements widespread in eukaryotes and related to DNA viruses. Gene 1;390(1-2):3-17.

Holligan D, Zhang X, Jiang N, Pritham EJ & Wessler SR (2006) The transposable element landscape of the model legume Lotus japonicus Genetics 174(4): 2215-28.

Feschotte C & Pritham EJ (2005) Non-mammalian c-integrases are encoded by giant transposable elements. Trends in Genetics. 21:551-552.

Pritham EJ, Feschotte C & Wessler SR (2005) Unexpected diversity and differential success of DNA transposons in four species of Entamoeba protozoans. Molecular Biology and Evolution 22:1751-1763.

Pritham EJ, Zhang YH, Feschotte C & Kesseli RV (2003) An Ac-like transposable element family with trancriptionally active Y-linked copies in the white campion, Silene latifolia. Genetics 165: 799-807.

Principal Investigator

null

Ellen J. Pritham Ph.D..

Assistant Professor

Address

University of Utah
Department of Human Genetics
15 N. 2030 E. Rm. 6120
Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Phone

801-585-3351

Fax

801-581-7796

Email

ude.h1493032160atu.s1493032160citen1493032160eg@ma1493032160htirp1493032160

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.