SINEs of progress: Mobile element applications to molecular ecology

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Mobile elements represent a unique and under-utilized set of tools for molecular ecologists. They are essentially homoplasy-free characters with the ability to be genotyped in a simple and efficient manner. Interpretation of the data generated using mobile elements can be simple compared to other genetic markers. They exist in a wide variety of taxa and are useful over a wide selection of temporal ranges within those taxa. Furthermore, their mode of evolution instills them with another advantage over other types of multilocus genotype data: the ability to determine loci applicable to a range of time spans in the history of a taxon. In this review, I discuss the application of mobile element markers, especially short interspersed elements (SINEs), to phylogenetic and population data, with an emphasis on potential applications to molecular ecology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-33
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular Ecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Conservation
  • LINE
  • Phylogenetics
  • Population genetics
  • Retrotransposon
  • SINE

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