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Heredity (Edinb). 2009 Jun;102(6):533-41. doi: 10.1038/hdy.2009.17. Epub 2009 Mar 11.

The role of repetitive DNA in structure and evolution of sex chromosomes in plants.

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Laboratory of Plant Developmental Genetics, Institute of Biophysics ASCR, Brno, Czech Republic.


Eukaryotic genomes contain a large proportion of repetitive DNA sequences, mostly transposable elements (TEs) and tandem repeats. These repetitive sequences often colonize specific chromosomal (Y or W chromosomes, B chromosomes) or subchromosomal (telomeres, centromeres) niches. Sex chromosomes, especially non-recombining regions of the Y chromosome, are subject to different evolutionary forces compared with autosomes. In non-recombining regions of the Y chromosome repetitive DNA sequences are accumulated, representing a dominant and early process forming the Y chromosome, probably before genes start to degenerate. Here we review the occurrence and role of repetitive DNA in Y chromosome evolution in various species with a focus on dioecious plants. We also discuss the potential link between recombination and transposition in shaping genomes.

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