Give-and-take: interactions between DNA transposons and their host plant genomes

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2007 Dec;17(6):486-92. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2007.08.010. Epub 2007 Oct 4.


Recent genome sequencing efforts have revealed how extensively transposable elements (TEs) have contributed to the shaping of present day plant genomes. DNA transposons associate preferentially with the euchromatic or genic component of plant genomes and have had the opportunity to interact intimately with the genes of the plant host. These interactions have resulted in TEs acquiring host sequences, forming chimeric genes through exon shuffling, replacing regulatory sequences, mobilizing genes around the genome, and contributing genes to the host. The close interaction of transposons with genes has also led to the evolution of intricate cellular mechanisms for silencing transposon activity. Transposons have thus become important subjects of study in understanding epigenetic regulation and, in cases where transposons have amplified to high numbers, how to escape that regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA Transposable Elements / genetics
  • DNA Transposable Elements / physiology*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Genome, Plant*
  • Models, Genetic
  • Plants / genetics*


  • DNA Transposable Elements