Chromosome Research

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 535–548 | Cite as

Telomere maintenance, function and evolution: the yeast paradigm

  • M. T. Teixeira
  • E. Gilson


Telomeres are multifunctional genetic elements that cap chromosome ends, playing essential roles in genome stability, chromosome higher-order organization and proliferation control. The telomere field has largely benefited from the study of unicellular eukaryotic organisms such as yeasts. Easy cultivation in laboratory conditions and powerful genetics have placed mainly Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Kluveromyces lactis and Schizosaccharomyces pombe as crucial model organisms for telomere biology research. Studies in these species have made it possible to elucidate the basic mechanisms of telomere maintenance, function and evolution. Moreover, comparative genomic analyses show that telomeres have evolved rapidly among yeast species and functional plasticity emerges as one of the driving forces of this evolution. This provides a precious opportunity to further our understanding of telomere biology.

Key words

chromatin DNA replication evolution telomerase telomere yeast 


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© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire de la Cellule of Ecole Normale Supérieure de LyonUMR CNRS/INRA/ENSLyon cedex 07France

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