The Ty1-copia group of retrotransposons in plants: genomic organisation, evolution, and use as molecular markers

Amar Kumar, Stephen R. Pearce, Karen McLean, Gill Harrison, J. S. Heslop-Harrison, Robbie Waugh, Andrew J. Flavell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    103 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The genomic organisation and diversity of the Ty1-copia group retrotransposons has been investigated in several crop plants and their relatives from both dicotyledonous and monocotyledonous families, including potato (Solanum tuberosum), faba beans (Vicia faba), Vicia melanops, Vicia sativa, barley (Hordeum vulgare), rye (Secale cereale), and onion (Allium cepa). Extreme heterogeneity in the sequence of the Ty1-copia retrotransposons from all these plant was revealed following sequence analysis of reverse transcriptase fragments. The estimated copy numbers of the Ty1-copia group retrotansposons for the genomes of S. tuberosum, L. esculentum, A. cepa, S. cereale, and V. faba is highly variable, ranging from a few hundred to approximately a million copies per genome. In situ hybridisation data from metaphase and prophase chromosomes of V. faba, S. cereale, and H. vulgare suggest that retrotransposon sequences are dispersed throughout the euchromatic regions of the genome but are almost undetectable in most heterochromatic regions. In contrast, similar data from metaphase chromosomes of A. cepa suggests that although retrotransposon sequences are dispersed throughout the euchromatic regions of the genome, they are predominantly concentrated in the terminal heterochromatin. These results are discussed in the context of the role played by the Ty1-copia group retrotransposons in the evolution of the plant genome. Lastly, the application of retrotransposon sequences as genetic markers for mapping genomes and for studying genetic biodiversity in plants is presented.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)205-217
    Number of pages13
    JournalGenetica
    Volume100
    Issue number1-3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 1997

    Keywords

    • Evolution
    • Genomic organisation
    • Molecular marker
    • Plants
    • Retroelements
    • Ty1-copia retrotansposons

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