The following is an edited excerpt.
In the gonads of animals, genome parasites, such as transposons, pose a serious threat to evolutionary fitness. These parasites have an ability to bounce around in the genome, and often cause dangerous mutations. To protect genomic integrity, animals evolved a sophisticated mechanism – the so called piRNA pathway – to silence the deleterious transposons. Not much is known about the molecular processes and the involved factors that constitute the piRNA pathway. But researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna have now identified ~50 genes that play important roles in the piRNA pathway of the fruit fly.
Read the full story here: The fight against genome parasites