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Chromosome Res. 2014 Jun;22(2):217-23. doi: 10.1007/s10577-014-9417-9.

Control of transposable elements in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Faculty of Science, Hokkaido University, Kita10 Nishi 8, Kitaku, Sapporo, Hokkaido, 060-0810, Japan.


Arabidopsis thaliana serves as a very good model organism to investigate the control of transposable elements (TEs) by genetic and genomic approaches. As TE movements are potentially deleterious to the hosts, hosts silence TEs by epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation. DNA methylation is controlled by DNA methyltransferases and other regulators, including histone modifiers and chromatin remodelers. RNAi machinery directs DNA methylation to euchromatic TEs, which is under developmental control. In addition to the epigenetic controls, some TEs are controlled by environmental factors. TEs often affect expression of nearby genes, providing evolutionary sources for epigenetic, developmental, and environmental gene controls, which could even be beneficial for the host.

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