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Genetics. 2000 Sep;156(1):313-25.

Retrotransposon evolution in diverse plant genomes.

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  • 1Institute of Biological Science, University of Wales, Aberystwyth SY23 3DD, United Kingdom.


Retrotransposon or retrotransposon-like sequences have been reported to be conserved components of cereal centromeres. Here we show that the published sequences are derived from a single conventional Ty3-gypsy family or a nonautonomous derivative. Both autonomous and nonautonomous elements are likely to have colonized Poaceae centromeres at the time of a common ancestor but have been maintained since by active retrotransposition. The retrotransposon family is also present at a lower copy number in the Arabidopsis genome, where it shows less pronounced localization. The history of the family in the two types of genome provides an interesting contrast between "boom and bust" and persistent evolutionary patterns.

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