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Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters

Open Access

A transcriptionally active copia-like retroelement in Citrus limon

  • Bruna De Felice1Email author,
  • Robert R. Wilson1,
  • Carolina Argenziano1,
  • Ioanis Kafantaris1 and
  • Clara Conicella2
Cellular & Molecular Biology LettersAn International Journal200814:50

Received: 12 June 2008

Accepted: 16 December 2008

Published: 24 December 2008


The plant nuclear genome is largely composed of mobile DNA, which can rearrange genomes and other individual gene structure and also affect gene regulation through various promoted activities: transposition, insertion, excision, chromosome breakage, and ectopic recombination. Ty1-copia-like retrotransposon is a widespread class of transposable elements in the plant kingdom, representing a large part of the total DNA content. Here, a novel retrotransposon-like sequence was isolated and identified as the Ty1-copia-like reverse transcriptase domain (named here CLCoy1), based on the homology of known elements. Fluorescence in situ hybridization, revealed that CLCoy1 was mainly located in telomeric and sub-telomeric regions along the Citrus chromosomes. CLCoy1 composes 3.6% of the genome and, interestingly, while transposons are mostly specific to a species, this element was identified in other Citrus species such as Citrus aurantium, Fortunella margarita and Citrus paradisi, but undetected in Poncirus trifoliata. We also determined that wounding, salt and cell culture stress produced transcriptional activation of this novel retroelement in Citrus limon. The novel Ty1-copia-like element CLCoy1 may have played a major role in shaping genome structure and size during Citrus species evolution.

Key words

Ty1-copia-like Citrus TranscriptionBiotic and abiotic stress