Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Potential impact of primate-specific SVA retrotransposons during the evolution of human cognitive function

Vasieva, O., Cetiner, S., Savage, A.ORCID: 0000-0002-2231-9800, Schumann, G.G., Bubb, V.J. and Quinn, J.P. (2017) Potential impact of primate-specific SVA retrotransposons during the evolution of human cognitive function. Trends in Evolutionary Biology, 6 (1). Article 6514.

PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (851kB) | Preview
Free to read:
*No subscription required


The SVA family of hominid-specific non-LTR retrotransposon comprises the youngest group of transposable elements in the human genome. The propagation of the most ancient SVA subfamily took place about 13.5 million years ago, and the youngest SVA subfamily appeared in the human genome after the human/chimpanzee divergence. Functional analysis of genes associated with SVA insertions demonstrated their link to multiple ontological categories, with one of the major categories being attributed to brain function. Further analysis of this subset demonstrated that SVA elements expanded their presence in the human genome at different stages of hominoid evolution and were associated with progressively evolving behavioral features that indicate a potential impact of SVA propagation on the cognitive ability of a modern human. Our analysis suggests a potential role of SVAs in the evolution of human central nervous system and especially in the emergence of functional trends relevant to social and parental behavior. Coevolution of behavioral features and reproductive functions are suggested by our analysis and discussed.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: PAGEPress
Copyright: © O. Vasieva et al., 2017
Item Control Page Item Control Page


Downloads per month over past year