Skip to main content

Transposable elements and biodiversity in crop plant species

Objective



Biodiversity is the result of mutations of genomes. A major source of mutation in plants is the mobilization of transposable genetic elements. Transposable elements exist in all plant genomes; often comprising several percents of the total DNA content.
Additionally, copy numbers of particular transposable elements per genome can fluctuate by several orders of magnitude over time scales of a few MYr. Transposable elements are therefore a major contributor (and perhaps THE major contributor) to the generation of genetic biodiversity in plants. Despite this, very little study of the amount of biodiversity caused by transposable elements in plants has yet been attempted. The first goal of this proposal is to measure the genetic biodiversity generated by class I transposable elements (the major plant transposable element family) in several of the most agronomically important crop species to the EEC (Objectives/Work Packages 1-2). Our second goal is to develop class I transposable elements as molecular markers to measure biodiversity and phylogenetic relationships in crop species and their wild relatives (Objectives/ Work Packages 3-5). Certain class I transposable elements should be an excellent source of useful polymorphic markers for genome characterization because they are one of the most mutable components of plant genomes (Objective/Work Packages 4 and 5). Other class I elements are potentially very useful for phylogenetic analysis because they transpose at rates which are similar to speciation rates (Objective/Work Packages 3 and 5).
A large fraction of the worldwide research on plant class I transposable elements has been performed by EC laboratories. Collectively our expertise covers a significant fraction of the well characterised plant class I TEs. The proposed project will bring our laboratories together to tackle shared problem sand address shared goals. The collaborative research proposed here will result in a quantum leap in the efficiency and speed of our individual programs and maintain the lead which Europe holds in this exciting research area.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE
Address
Msi/wtb Complex Dow Street
DD1 4HN Dundee
United Kingdom

Participants (6)

CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE INVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Spain
Address
18,Jordi Girona 18
08034 Barcelona
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE AGRONOMIQUE
France
Address
Route De Saint-cyr Rd10
78026 Versailles
JOHN INNES CENTRE
United Kingdom
Address
Colney Lane - Norwich Research Park
NR4 7UH Norwich
Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI)
United Kingdom
Address
Invergowrie
DD2 5DA Dundee
UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI
Finland
Address
9,Viikinkaari 9 Biocentre 1A
00014 Helsinki
Université Blaise Pascal Clermont-Ferrand II
France
Address
24,Avenue Des Landais
63177 Aubière