An indispensable transposase for plant growth

Both plant and animal genomes contain large proportions of transposons that can hop from one position in the genome to another by the action of a transposase. This will damage the host DNA, which is usually not good for the host. So why are there so many transposition subversions? The first gene in any kind of organism that plays an important role as a transposable gene may provide us with some clues. Surprisingly, the translocation enzyme DAYSLEEPER, isolated from Arabidopsis, is indispensable for plant growth. This work shows that transposases can be domesticated by the host as a new mechanism of gene regulation.

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