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Trends Plant Sci. 2006 Oct;11(10):485-91. Epub 2006 Sep 1.

Endogenous pararetroviruses: two-faced travelers in the plant genome.

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  • 1Gregor Mendel Institute (GMI) for Molecular Plant Biology, Dr.-Bohr-Gasse 3, A-1030 Wien, Austria.


Endogenous plant pararetroviruses (EPRVs) were identified as integrated counterparts of most members of the plant virus family Caulimoviridae and represent repetitive elements that are ubiquitous in the plant kingdom. They are often located in pericentromeric regions of plant chromosomes in the vicinity of retrotransposon sequences. Depending on their structure and sequence integrity, some EPRVs are able to replicate and to initiate viral infection. However, conservation of integrated sequences in plant genomes might indicate benefits for the host during evolution. Understanding EPRV activation and control by the host could have important implications for plant breeding strategies to prevent viral disease caused by EPRVs in newly generated cultivars.

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