copia-like retrotransposons are ubiquitous among plants

Titlecopia-like retrotransposons are ubiquitous among plants
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsVoytas D.F, Cummings MP, Koniczny A., Ausubel F.M, Rodermel S.R
JournalProc Natl Acad Sci USAProc Natl Acad Sci USA

Transposable genetic elements are assumed to be a feature of all eukaryotic genomes. Their identification, however, has largely been haphazard, limited principally to organisms subjected to molecular or genetic scrutiny. We assessed the phylogenetic distribution of copia-like retrotransposons, a class of transposable element that proliferates by reverse transcription, using a polymerase chain reaction assay designed to detect copia-like element reverse transcriptase sequences. copia-like retrotransposons were identified in 64 plant species as well as the photosynthetic protist Volvox carteri. The plant species included representatives from 9 of 10 plant divisions, including bryophytes, lycopods, ferns, gymnosperms, and angiosperms. DNA sequence analysis of 29 cloned PCR products and of a maize retrotransposon cDNA confirmed the identity of these sequences as copia-like reverse transcriptase sequences, thereby demonstrating that this class of retrotransposons is a ubiquitous component of plant genomes.