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Open AccessArticle

Specific LTR-Retrotransposons Show Copy Number Variations between Wild and Cultivated Sunflowers

Department of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto 80, I-56124 Pisa, Italy
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Genes 2018, 9(9), 433; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes9090433
Received: 25 July 2018 / Revised: 22 August 2018 / Accepted: 24 August 2018 / Published: 29 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics of Plant Domestication and Crop Evolution)
The relationship between variation of the repetitive component of the genome and domestication in plant species is not fully understood. In previous work, variations in the abundance and proximity to genes of long terminal repeats (LTR)-retrotransposons of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) were investigated by Illumina DNA sequencingtocompare cultivars and wild accessions. In this study, we annotated and characterized 22 specific retrotransposon families whose abundance varies between domesticated and wild genotypes. These families mostly belonged to the Chromovirus lineage of the Gypsy superfamily and were distributed overall chromosomes. They were also analyzed in respect to their proximity to genes. Genes close to retrotransposon were classified according to biochemical pathways, and differences between domesticated and wild genotypes are shown. These data suggest that structural variations related to retrotransposons might have occurred to produce phenotypic variation between wild and domesticated genotypes, possibly by affecting the expression of genes that lie close to inserted or deleted retrotransposons and belong to specific biochemical pathways as those involved in plant stress responses. View Full-Text
Keywords: Helianthus annuus; long terminal repeat retrotransposons; plant domestication; retrotransposon abundance; retrotransposon proximity to genes Helianthus annuus; long terminal repeat retrotransposons; plant domestication; retrotransposon abundance; retrotransposon proximity to genes
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Mascagni, F.; Vangelisti, A.; Giordani, T.; Cavallini, A.; Natali, L. Specific LTR-Retrotransposons Show Copy Number Variations between Wild and Cultivated Sunflowers. Genes 2018, 9, 433.

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