On the Coevolution of Transposable Elements and Plant Genomes

Peter Civan, Miroslav Švec, Pavol Hauptvogel

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    Plant genomes are unique in an intriguing feature: the range of their size variation is unprecedented among living organisms. Although polyploidization contributes to this variability, transposable elements (TEs) seem to play the pivotal role. TEs, often considered intragenomic parasites, not only affect the genome size of the host, but also interact with other genes, disrupting and creating new functions and regulatory networks. Coevolution of plant genomes and TEs has led to tight regulation of TE activity, and growing evidence suggests their relationship became mutualistic. Although the expansions of TEs represent certain costs for the host genomes, they may also bring profits for populations, helping to overcome challenging environmental (biotic/abiotic stress) or genomic (hybridization and allopolyploidization) conditions. In this paper, we discuss the possibility that the possession of inducible TEs may provide a selective advantage for various plant populations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number893546
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Botany
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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