Sunday, August 02, 2009


Structure-based discovery and description of plant and animal Helitrons
Helitrons are recently discovered eukaryotic transposons that are predicted to amplify by a rolling-circle mechanism. They are present in most plant and animal species investigated, but were previously overlooked partly because they lack terminal repeats and do not create target site duplications.

Plant genomes: Massive changes of the maize genome are caused by Helitrons
Helitrons are eukaryotic transposable elements recognized only recently by computer analysis of repetitive DNA sequences of Arabidopsis, rice and Caenorhabditis elegans (Kapitonov and Jurka, 2001). Helitrons are quite large (>10 kbp) but unlike virtually all other classes of transposable elements, Helitrons lack terminal repeats and do not duplicate host sequences during the insertion process. They insert within the host dinucleotide, AT.

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