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FEBS Lett. 2010 Sep 10;584(17):3752-9. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2010.06.017. Epub 2010 Jun 19.

Comparative biology of telomeres: where plants stand.

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Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria.


Telomeres are essential structures at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. Work on their structure and function began almost 70 years ago in plants and flies, continued through the Nobel Prize winning work on yeast and ciliates, and goes on today in many model and non-model organisms. The basic molecular mechanisms of telomeres are highly conserved throughout evolution, and our current understanding of how telomeres function is a conglomeration of insights gained from many different species. This review will compare the current knowledge of telomeres in plants with other organisms, with special focus on the functional length of telomeric DNA, the search for TRF homologs, the family of POT1 proteins, and the recent discovery of members of the CST complex.

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