Background: Retrotransposons are heterogeneous sequences, widespread in eukaryotic genomes, which refer to the so-called mobile DNA. They resemble retroviruses, both in their structure and for their ability to transpose within the host genome, of which they make up a considerable portion. Copia- and Gypsy-like retrotransposons are the two main classes of retroelements shown to be ubiquitous in plant genomes. Ideally, the retrotransposons life cycle results in the synthesis of a messenger RNA and then self-encoded proteins to process retrotransposon mRNA in double stranded extra-chromosomal cDNA copies which may integrate in new chromosomal locations. Results: The RT-PCR and IRAP protocol were applied to detect the presence of Copia and Gypsy retrotransposon transcripts and of new events of integration in unstressed plants of a sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) selfed line. Results show that in sunflower retrotransposons transcription occurs in all analyzed organs (embryos, leaves, roots, and flowers). In one out of sixty-four individuals analyzed, retrotransposons transcription resulted in the integration of a new element into the genome. Conclusion: These results indicate that the retrotransposon life cycle is firmly controlled at a post transcriptional level. A possible silencing mechanism is discussed.

Copia and Gypsy retrotransposons activity in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.)

GIORDANI, TOMMASO;NATALI, LUCIA;CAVALLINI, ANDREA
2009

Abstract

Background: Retrotransposons are heterogeneous sequences, widespread in eukaryotic genomes, which refer to the so-called mobile DNA. They resemble retroviruses, both in their structure and for their ability to transpose within the host genome, of which they make up a considerable portion. Copia- and Gypsy-like retrotransposons are the two main classes of retroelements shown to be ubiquitous in plant genomes. Ideally, the retrotransposons life cycle results in the synthesis of a messenger RNA and then self-encoded proteins to process retrotransposon mRNA in double stranded extra-chromosomal cDNA copies which may integrate in new chromosomal locations. Results: The RT-PCR and IRAP protocol were applied to detect the presence of Copia and Gypsy retrotransposon transcripts and of new events of integration in unstressed plants of a sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) selfed line. Results show that in sunflower retrotransposons transcription occurs in all analyzed organs (embryos, leaves, roots, and flowers). In one out of sixty-four individuals analyzed, retrotransposons transcription resulted in the integration of a new element into the genome. Conclusion: These results indicate that the retrotransposon life cycle is firmly controlled at a post transcriptional level. A possible silencing mechanism is discussed.
Vukich, M; Giordani, Tommaso; Natali, Lucia; Cavallini, Andrea
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/197439
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