Soutenance de thèse de Mme Domitille CHALOPIN de l'IGF sous la direction de M. Jean-Nicolas VOLFF.
Transposable elements (TEs) are mobile genetic elements - able to move and to multiply within genomes - identified in almost all living organisms including bacteria. Considered as junk DNA for long, nowadays they are undeniably major players of gene, genome and host evolution. TEs can be deleterious causing diseases but these “parasites” can also be source of new genetic materials as promoters or even new genes bringing new functions for hosts. The objectives of my thesis was to determine the presence or not of the different TE families in vertebrate genomes, as well as their respective content to understand their evolutionary history. I performed a large-scale comparative analysis to highlight the various evolutionary strategies of TEs. I showed that TE content is highly variable in vertebrate genomes, the smallest and the largest being found in fish, and may contribute to their genome sizes especially in fish. These superfamilies underwent differential waves of activity in vertebrate species highlighting TE dynamics. On another hand, I focused on the study of a vertebrate-specific TE-derived gene, named Gin-2, to understand its origin, evolution, and its potential function in vertebrates. In silico analyses showed that Gin-2 is a very ancient gene (500 My, only absent from placentals) derived from GIN transposons. Further analyses present a particular expression in brain and gonads during adulthood, while a strong expression during gastrulation suggests a potential role of Gin-2 in zebrafish development. All together, the different analyses contribute to a better view of TE evolution and their evolutionary impacts in vertebrate genomes.
ENS Lyon - Amphithéâtre Schrödinger