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The mobilome is the total of all mobile genetic elements in a genome. The concept applies in various senses to the Eukaryota, to Prokaryota and to certain viruses.

Transposable elements, elements that can move about or propagate within the genome, are the major constituents of the mobilome in eukaryotes.[1]

In prokaryotes however, apart from transposable elements that may move within the genome, mobile genetic elements that can move between genomes other important components of the mobilome are extremely important in genetics and ecology. Examples include prophages and plasmids.[2]

In viruses, some categories of mobile genetic elements have been identified. They are virophages that depend for their replication, on the presence of particular giant viruses in the eukaryotic cells that they infect. Such virophages are major elements in the mobilomes of some Megavirales.[3]


  1. ^ Frost, L.S. et al., 2005. Mobile genetic elements: the agents of open source evolution. Nat. Rev. of Microbiology 3: 722-732.
  2. ^ Barkay, T. and Smets, B.F. 2005. Horizontal gene flow in microbial communities. ASM News 71: 412-419.(PDF Archived 2009-05-30 at the Wayback Machine.)
  3. ^ Bekliz, Meriem; Colson, Philippe; La Scola, Bernard. Review: The Expanding Family of Virophages. Viruses 2016, 8(11), 317; doi:10.3390/v8110317