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Plant Mol Biol. 1997 Jan;33(1):11-21.

Comparative analysis of the chromosomal and genomic organization of Ty1-copia-like retrotransposons in pteridophytes, gymnosperms and angiosperms.

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Karyobiology Group, Department of Cell Biology, John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK.


We have investigated the physical distribution of the reverse transcriptase genes of Ty1-copia-like retrotransposable elements from 12 plant species belonging to different subdivisions by hybridization in situ on chromosome preparations. Ty1-copia-like elements showed different and non-random hybridization patterns. A dispersed distribution throughout most of the chromosomes with reduced hybridization at some regions or with some weak clustering at other regions was found in Allium cepa, Beta vulgaris, Brassica campestris, Brassica oleracea, Pennisetum glaucum, Pinus elliottii, Selaginella apoda, Vicia faba and Vicia narbonensis. Reduced hybridization occurred mainly at centromeric regions, nucleolus-organizing regions and regions known to be mainly composed of tandemly repeated sequences. In the fern Pteris cretica the retroelements showed a dispersed genomic organization with clustering at some chromosomal regions and whole chromosomes showing little signal. In Arabidopsis thaliana and Cicer arietinum Ty1-copia-like elements were found in clusters at the paracentromeric heterochromatin, a novel organization for a repetitive element in A. thaliana. New retroelement families were isolated from A. thaliana and from Beta vulgaris. Alignment of the deduced peptide sequences with Ty1-copia-like elements from other plants showed considerable divergence which was used to calculate their relationships, indicating the value of reverse transcriptase gene analysis in phylogenetic and biodiversity studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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