Homing cycle of a parasitic genetic element (modified from [3, 13]). Recent findings suggest that due to complex population structure the cycle might not operate in synchrony in different subpopulations. The red arrows indicate the trajectory of the functioning HE and the black arrows the fate of the host gene. The precise loss can occur through recombination with an intein or intron free allele, or, in case of introns, through recombination with a reverse transcript of the spliced mRNA [39, 40].
Gogarten and Hilario BMC Evolutionary Biology 2006 6:94 doi:10.1186/1471-2148-6-94