Evolutionary Implications of SMGT
Pp. 26-32 (7)
Kevin R. Smith
Strong natural barriers exist against SMGT. However, such barriers are unlikely to be absolutely
inviolable. If sperm cells can indeed act as vectors for exogenous DNA, it follows that the genome of
sexually reproducing animals may be subject to alteration by exogenous DNA sequences carried by sperm
cells. At present there are insufficient data to permit quantification of the rate at which SMGT may occur in
nature. Nevertheless, the implications of such ‘natural’ SMGT are significant, and include evolutionary
effects on the mammalian genome and pathologies in humans from de novo mutations.
Concatemeristion, De novo mutation, Gene knockout, Genome evolution, Homologous
recombination, Mammalian genome, Natural SMGT, Random integration, Repetitive sequence,
Retrotransposition, Tandem array.
Abertay University, United Kingdom