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ABSTRACT: Retroelements represent by far the largest and most widespread class of mobile genetic elements. Representative of several classes of retrotransposons have been characterized in a broad range of plant species, but only a few of them have been shown to be active. Among these, the tobacco Tnt1 retrotransposon has been isolated after insertion mutagenesis and is one of the very few to be transcriptionally active. Tnt1 expression is strongly regulated in a tissue-specific and developmental manner. Moreover, Tnt1 expression is induced by a range of biotic or abiotic elicitors, which all have in common the ability to induce the plant defense response. Regulatory sequences involved in this elicitor-mediated induction have been located in the LTR U3 region. The link between Tnt1 activation and the plant defense response might represent an example of the involvement of transposable elements in genome restructurations needed in response to environmental fluctuations such as pathogen attacks.
Genetica 02/1994; 93(1-3):181-9. · 1.68 Impact Factor