All TEs share their ability to transpose. However, how they achieve mobility varies. As a result, TEs may differ in many features, with sequence, structure, and encoded domains being just a few.
Classification aims to capture the TE diversity in all living organisms by focusing on shared properties between individual TE types. As TEs come in many flavors, several approaches towards their systematic hierarchical placement co-exist. Naturally, as opinions differ, TE systematics are a matter of debate in the community.
Here, we try to offer a way through at least some of these systems. For this, we provide the initial references and the underlying systematic frameworks. For the future, we hope to extend these lists and to offer advice for embedding current research into any of these hierarchies.
The TE orders can be classified further into lineages and clades. Therefore, numerous sub-classification schemes exist, depending in the overarching TE group.
Individual TEs can be summarized into families and superfamilies. If many superfamilies, often across diverse organisms, share specific features, they can be summarized into lineages. In the literature, these are often individually described and characterized.