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Plant Mol Biol. 1993 Aug;22(5):829-46.

BARE-1, a copia-like retroelement in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.).

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Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki, Finland.


Retroviruses and retrotransposons make up the broad class of retroelements replicating and transposing via reverse transcriptase. Retroelements have recently been found to be ubiquitous in the plants. We report here the isolation, sequence and analysis of a retroelement from barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) with all the features of a copia-like retrotransposon. This is named BARE-1 (for BArley RetroElement 1), the first such element described for barley. BARE-1 is 12,088 bp, with long terminal repeats (LTRs) of 1829 bp containing perfect 6 bp inverted repeats at their ends and flanked by 4 bp direct repeats in the host DNA. Between the long terminal repeats is an internal domain with a derived amino acid sequence of 1285 residues, bearing homology to the gag, pro, int and rt domains of retroviruses and both plant and non-plant copia-like retrotransposons. Cultivated barley contains about 5000 elements in the genome similar to the BARE-1 putative gag domain, but ten-fold more hybridizing to rt or LTR probes. The particular BARE-1 element reported here appears to be inactive, as the putative protein-coding domain is interrupted by four stop codons and a frameshift. In addition, the 3' LTR is 4% divergent from the 5' LTR and contains a 3135 bp insertion. Nevertheless, we have recently detected transcripts hybridizing to BARE-1 on northern blots, presumably from active copies. Analysis of BARE-1 expression and function in barley is currently underway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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