Diversity and evolution of transposable elements in Arabidopsis

Chromosome Res. 2014 Jun;22(2):203-16. doi: 10.1007/s10577-014-9418-8.

Abstract

Transposable elements are mobile genetic elements that have successfully populated eukaryotic genomes and show diversity in their structure and transposition mechanisms. Although first viewed solely as selfish, transposable elements are now known as important vectors to drive the adaptation and evolution of their host genome. Transposable elements can affect host gene structures, gene copy number, gene expression, and even as a source for novel genes. For example, a number of transposable element sequences have been co-opted to contribute to evolutionary innovation, such as the mammalian placenta and the vertebrate immune system. In plants, the need to adapt rapidly to changing environmental conditions is essential and is reflected, as will be discussed, by genome plasticity and an abundance of diverse, active transposon families. This review focuses on transposable elements in plants, particularly those that have beneficial effects on the host. We also emphasize the importance of having proper tools to annotate and classify transposons to better understand their biology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Chromosomes, Plant / genetics
  • DNA Transposable Elements / genetics*
  • DNA, Plant / genetics
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Gene Duplication
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Genome, Plant*
  • Telomere / genetics

Substances

  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA, Plant