Plant Transposons and Genome Dynamics in Evolution


The transposable genetic elements, or transposons, as they are now known, have had a tumultuous history. Discovered in the mid-20th century by Barbara McClintock, they were initially received with puzzlement. When their genomic abundance began to be apparent, they were categorized as "junk DNA" and acquired the label of parasites. Expanding understanding of gene and genome organization has revealed the profound extent of their impact on both.

Plant Transposons and Genome ...

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The transposable genetic elements, or transposons, as they are now known, have had a tumultuous history. Discovered in the mid-20th century by Barbara McClintock, they were initially received with puzzlement. When their genomic abundance began to be apparent, they were categorized as "junk DNA" and acquired the label of parasites. Expanding understanding of gene and genome organization has revealed the profound extent of their impact on both.

Plant Transposons and Genome Dynamics in Evolution captures and distills the voluminous research literature on plant transposable elements and seeks to assemble the big picture of how transposons shape gene structure and regulation, as well as how they sculpt genomes in evolution. Individual chapters provide concise overviews of the many flavors of plant transposons and of their roles in gene creation, gene regulation, development, genome evolution, and organismal speciation, as well as of their epigenetic regulation.

This volume is essential reading for anyone working in plant genetics, epigenetics, or evolutionary biology.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“I do love books where the text points toward the futureas well as distilling the past and present.  This volume doesboth.”  (The Quarterly Review of Biology, 1December 2014)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470959947
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/15/2013
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 9.70 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Nina V. Fedoroff is Distinguished Professor of Biosciences, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, and Evan Pugh Professor, Huck Institutes of Life Sciences, Penn State University.

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Table of Contents

Contributors ix

Foreword xi
David Botstein

Introduction xiii
Nina V. Fedoroff

Chapter 1 The Discovery of Transposition 3
Nina V. Fedoroff

Introduction 3

Studies on Variegation 3

Mutable Genes 5

McClintock’s Studies on Chromosome Breakage 6

Recognition that Ds Transposes 8

Explaining Mutable Genes 9

Molecular Endnote 12

References 12

Chapter 2 A Field Guide to Transposable Elements 15
Alan H. Schulman and Thomas Wicker

The C-value Paradox 15

The Quantity of Transposable Elements Determines Genome Size16

General Classification Scheme for Transposable Elements 17

Class II Elements 19

Class I: The Non-LTR and LTR Retrotransposons 20

Evolutionary Origins of Transposable Elements 25

Non-autonomous Transposable Elements 28

Transposable Element Demography and Genome Ecology 30

Conclusions: Rehabilitation of Transposable Elements 32

Acknowledgments 34

References 34

Chapter 3 The Mechanism of Ac/Ds Transposition41
Thomas Peterson and Jianbo Zhang

Transposition of Ac/Ds Elements 41

The Enigmatic Ac Dosage Effect 42

cis and trans Effects on Ac/DsTransposition 43

Molecular Characterization of Transposable Elements 44

The Excision and Insertion Reactions 45

Formation of Ds from Ac 48

Standard versus Alternative Transposition 48

Sister Chromatid Transposition 48

Reversed-ends Transposition 51

How Does Ds Break Chromosomes? 53

Alternative Transposition, DNA Methylation, and the Sequence ofTransposition Reactions 54

Potential Applications of Alternative Transposition 55

Perspective 56

References 56

Chapter 4 McClintock and Epigenetics 61
Nina V. Fedoroff

Introduction 61

Spm-suppressible Alleles 61

Spm-dependent Alleles 64

Cryptic Spm 66

Presetting 66

Molecular Machinery of Epigenetic Regulation 67

Summary 68

References 69

Chapter 5 Molecular Mechanisms of Transposon EpigeneticRegulation 71
Robert A. Martienssen and Vicki L. Chandler

Introduction 71

Chromatin Remodeling, DNA and Histone Modification 73

RNA Interference (RNAi) and RNA-Directed DNA Methylation (RdDM)75

Heterochromatin Reprogramming and Germ Cell Fate 79

Transgenerational Inheritance of Transposon Silencing 82

Paramutation 83

Conclusions 85

References 85

Chapter 6 Transposons in Plant Gene Regulation 93
Damon R. Lisch

Introduction 93

New Regulatory Functions 94

TE-Induced Down-Regulation 97

Deletions and Rearrangements 98

Suppressible Alleles 100

TEs and Plant Domestication 103

The Dynamic Genome 108

References 110

Chapter 7 Imprinted Gene Expression and the Contribution ofTransposable Elements 117
Mary A. Gehring

Why are Genes Imprinted? 118

The Developmental Origin of Endosperm 118

Selection for Imprinted Expression 121

Principles Derived from the First Imprinted Gene 122

Gene Imprinting and Parent-of-Origin Effects on Seed Development124

What Genes are Imprinted? 124

Epigenome Dynamics during Seed Development 127

Epigenetic Landscape in Vegetative Tissues 127

Cytological Observations of Chromatin in Seeds 129

Epigenomic Profiling in Seeds 130

Mechanisms of Gene Imprinting and the Relation to TEs 132

TEs and Allele-Specific Imprinting 136

Insights from Whole Genome Studies 137

Outstanding Questions 138

References 138

Chapter 8 Transposons and Gene Creation 143
Hugo K. Dooner and Clifford F. Weil

Introduction 143

Capture of Gene Fragments by TEs and Formation of Chimeric Genes144

Co-Option of a TE Gene by the Host 148

Fusion of TE and Host Genes 150

Alterations of Host Gene Sequences by TE Excisions 151

Alterations of Host Coding Sequences by TE Insertions 152

Acquisition by Host Genes of New Regulatory Sequences from TEs153

Interaction of TEs with Target Gene mRNA Splicing and Structure155

Reshuffling of Host Sequences by Alternative Transpositions156

Conclusion 158

References 158

Chapter 9 Transposons in Plant Speciation 165
Avraham A. Levy

Introduction 165

Genetic Models of Speciation 165

Speciation – a Gradual or a Rapid Process? 166

Speciation Through Accumulation of Mutations 166

DNA Cut-and-Paste TEs and Speciation 167

Copy-and-Paste TEs and Speciation 168

TE-Mediated Speciation – a Likely Scenario? 169

Plant Speciation Through Hybridization and Allopolyploidization169

Induction of Transposition upon Hybridization andPolyploidization 170

Epigenetic Alteration of TEs upon Hybridization andPolyploidization 170

Transcriptional Activation of TEs upon Hybridization andPolyploidization 171

Alterations in Small RNAs upon Hybridization andPolyploidization 171

A Mechanistic Model for Responses to Genome Shock 172

Dysregulation of Gene Expression by Novel Interactions BetweenRegulatory Factors 173

Altered Protein Complexes 174

Why TEs Become Activated when Cellular Processes areDysregulated 174

Conclusions 175

Acknowledgments 176

References 176

Chapter 10 Transposons, Genomic Shock, and Genome Evolution181
Nina V. Fedoroff and Jeffrey L. Bennetzen

How Transposons Came to be Called “Selfish” DNA181

The “Selfish DNA” Label Stuck to Transposons 182

Transposons Coevolved with Eukarotic Genomes 182

Sequence Duplication: The Real Innovation 183

The Facilitator: Epigenetic Control of Homologous Recombination183

Epigenetic Mechanisms, Duplication and Genome Evolution 185

Plant Genome Organization: Gene Islands in a Sea of RepetitiveDNA 186

Transposon Neighborhoods and Insertion Site Selection 187

Genome Evolution: Colinearity and Its Erosion 189

Genome Contraction and Divergence of Intergenic Sequences191

Transposases Sculpt Genomes 192

Small Regulatory RNAs from Transposons 193

Genome Shocks 194

Genome Evolvability 195

References 196

Index 203

Color plate is located between pages 142 and 143.

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