Taming the intruders: the domestication of Tigger transposable elements in mammals

Grant number: DP0773186


It has become apparent that most of the DNA that makes us what we are is actually comprised of the remnants of invading parasitic DNA acquired over time. A continual battle exists between host which tries to silence or remove this DNA, and the parasite that tries to multiply and spread. We are currently investigating an intriguing aspect of this process that involves host genomes 'domesticating' parasitic DNA to provide novel functions, thereby facilitating the evolution of specific characteristics within species.