Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School


Committee Member

David Kass

Committee Member

Katherine Greenwald

Committee Member

Lynne Shetron-Rama


Retrotransposons are a type of transposable element in which DNA copies are produced via an RNA intermediate and integrate into new chromosomal sites continually contributing to the dynamics of genomes. While sequencing the mys element among the Cricetidae family of rodents, we identified a previously uncharacterized element in the genome of the Mexican volcano mouse that we refer to as mys-related sequence (mysRS). This investigation provides a unique opportunity to contrast the evolution of the two retrotransposon families apparently restricted to a specific taxonomic group of rodents. By analyzing the genomes of various cricetid rodents, our results provide evidence that the mysRS element originated in either an ancestor of the Neotominae subfamily or the Reithrodontomini tribe of rodents, which diverged roughly nine million years ago, and predates the appearance of the mys element.

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