Section: New Software and Platforms


Simulator of the dynamics of Transposable Elements Within Expanding Populations

Keywords: Simulator - Transposable elements - Population genetics - Geographic expansion

Functional Description Transposable elements, found in the genomes of most living organisms (including humans), are pieces of DNA able to replicate themselves and to proliferate. Their presence is a source of mutations which are, most of the time, detrimental to their host. As a consequence, natural selection usually limits their spread. There are, however, some conditions where natural selection cannot be efficient enough to remove them, for example when the population size is small. It is also hypothesized that when a population geographically expands, the efficiency of natural selection could be reduced at the expansion front. TEWEP is an individual-based simulator designed to test whether transposable elements could proliferate in large expanding populations. It combines several population genetics models to simulate the evolution of the number of transposable elements in each individual of an expanding population.