The LTR-Retrotransposons of Maize

  • Phillip SanMiguel
  • Clémentine Vitte

The maize genome comprises 150,000–250,000 long terminal repeat (LTR)-retrotransposons, mostly in nested clusters, intermingled with other transpos-able elements and, more rarely, genes. All told, the genomic landscape of maize is 50–80% retrotransposons. Myriad families exist but >80% of maize retrotransposons belong to the five largest: Opie-Ji, Cinful-Zeon, Huck, Prem1 and Grande. Closely related to animal retroviruses, retrotransposons utilize an RNA intermediate to initiate their transposition. Despite extensive proliferation they are nevertheless suppressed by a variety of mechanisms, including DNA methylation, conversion to heterochromatin and various types of recombinational deletion. Retrotransposons play a large role in the size, structure, gene function and haplotype variation of the maize genome.


Long Terminal Repeat Maize Genome Long Terminal Repeat Retrotransposons Target Site Duplication Retrotransposon Sequence 
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© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Horticulture and Landscape ArchitecturePurdue UniversityCanada

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