We examine an analytical model of selection against the deleterious effects of transposable element (TE) insertions in Drosophila, focusing attention on the asymptotic and dynamic characteristics. With strong selection the only asymptotically stable equilibrium point corresponds to extinction of the TEs. With very weak selection a stable and realistic equilibrium point can be obtained. The dynamics of the system is fast for strong selection and slow, on the human time scale, for weak selection. Hence weak selection acts as a force that contributes to the stabilization of mean TE copy number. The consequence is that under weak selection, and ‘out-of-equilibrium’ situation can be maintained for a long time in populations, with mean TE copy number appearing stabilized.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.