Encyclopedia > Selfish DNA

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Selfish DNA

Selfish DNA is DNA which is prevalent in the genome, not because its phenotypic[?] effect is beneficial, but because it has properties which cause the number of copies of it within the genome to increase with time.

For example, transposons copy themselves to different loci in the genome. Microsatellites increase the numbers of concatenated repeats within themselves because of their effect on DNA replication machinery.

In a way, coding DNA is selfish, but it replicates itself by increasing the number of bodies containing it.

See also: selfish gene

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