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Cytogenet Genome Res. 2013;140(2-4):286-94. doi: 10.1159/000353308. Epub 2013 Jul 9.

Retrotransposons represent the most labile fraction for genomic rearrangements in polyploid plant species.

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1
Centro de Botânica Aplicada à Agricultura, Secção de Genética, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal.

Abstract

Understanding how increased genome size and diversity within polyploid genomes impacts plant evolution and breeding continues to be challenging. Although historical studies by McClintock suggested the importance of transposable elements mediated by polyploidisation on genomic changes, data from plant crosses remain scarce. Despite the absence of a conclusive proof regarding autonomous retrotransposon movement in synthetic allopolyploids, the transposition of retrotransposons and their ubiquitous dispersion in all plant species might explain the positive correlation between the genome size of plants and the prevalence of retrotransposons. Here, we address polyploidisation-mediated rearrangements of retrotransposon-associated sequences and discuss a tendency for a preferential restructuring of large ancestral genomes after polyploidisation. A comparative analysis of the frequency of modifications of retrotransposon-associated sequences in synthetic polyploids with marked differences in genome sizes is presented. Such analyses suggest the absence of a significant difference in the rates of rearrangements despite vast dissimilarities in the retrotransposon copy number between species, which emphasises the high plasticity of this genomic feature. See also the sister article focusing on animals by Arkhipova and Rodriguez in this themed issue.

PMID:
23899810
DOI:
10.1159/000353308
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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