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Yeast Retrotransposons

  • M. von Ciriacy
Part of the The Mycota book series (MYCOTA, volume 2)

Abstract

Ty elements are retrotransposons of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In the past decade, since Ty has been recognized as a retroelement, research on this genetic entity has provided novel insights and ideas on the relationship between retroelements and their host organism. Initially, much of the interest in retroelements clearly stemmed from their obvious similarity to retro-viruses. Because of increased funding for research on human deficiency virus (HIV), the current impetus for retroelement research results (i) from the ubiquitous occurrence of such elements in many eukaryotic organisms, (ii) from the question how such elements became integrated in the individual life cycle of a cell or an organism, and (iii) from the evolutionary significance of retroelements. The yeast transposon, Ty, along with related elements from Drosophila are model retroelements in many aspects. Yeast provides an exceptional genetic system to study the complex interactions between retroelements and the host cell. Research along this line has allowed not only remarkable insights into the biology and evolution of Ty elements, but has also supplied novel ideas on various aspects of yeast molecular biology, especially that of gene expression. The advanced state of yeast research justifies restriction of this review to Ty retroelements. The subject has been broadly reviewed by Boeke and Sandmeyer (1991), and the reader is referred to this comprehensive treatise. More updated reviews have been written by Sandmeyer (1992) and Voytas and Boeke (1993). Boeke and Chapman (1991) discuss special aspects of retrotransposition, and Wilke et al. (1992) consider the novel issue of Ty population biology and its evolutionary significance. A broader treatise on the evolution of the Ty1/copia class of retroelements was recently provided by Flavell (1992), and a brief survey on retroelements of lower eukaryotes was given by Ciriacy (1993). It is beyond the scope of this chapter to review systematically all Ty literature. I have treated mostly the recent literature and some previous papers which were relevant for one reason or another. This review will discuss the general structural and functional aspects of Ty elements, their replication and insertion strategies, novel insights concerning ectopic recombination, and finally aspects of Ty population biology and evolutionary aspects.

Keywords

Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Transposable Element Long Terminal Repeat Long Terminal Repeat Sequence Ectopic Recombination 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. von Ciriacy
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für MikrobiologieHeinrich-Heine-UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany

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