Telomeres, telomerase, and stability of the plant genome

Telomeres, telomerase, and stability of the plant genome Telomeres, the complex nucleoprotein structures at the ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes, along with telomerase, the enzyme that synthesizes telomeric DNA, are required to maintain a stable genome. Together, the enzyme and substrate perform this essential service by protecting chromosomes from exonucleolytic degradation and end-to-end fusions and by compensating for the inability of conventional DNA replication machinery to completely duplicate the ends of linear chromosomes. Telomeres are also important for chromosome organization within the nucleus, especially during mitosis and meiosis. The contributions of telomeres and telomerases to plant genome stability have been confirmed by analysis of Arabidopsis mutants that lack telomerase activity. These mutants have unstable genomes, but manage to survive up to ten generations with increasingly shortened telomeres and cytogenetic abnormalities. Comparisons between telomerase-deficient Arabidopsis and telomerase-deficient mice reveal distinct differences in the consequences of massive genome damage, probably reflecting the greater developmental and genomic plasticity of plants. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Plant Molecular Biology Springer Journals

Telomeres, telomerase, and stability of the plant genome

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Life Sciences; Biochemistry, general; Plant Sciences; Plant Pathology
ISSN
0167-4412
eISSN
1573-5028
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1014091032750
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Telomeres, the complex nucleoprotein structures at the ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes, along with telomerase, the enzyme that synthesizes telomeric DNA, are required to maintain a stable genome. Together, the enzyme and substrate perform this essential service by protecting chromosomes from exonucleolytic degradation and end-to-end fusions and by compensating for the inability of conventional DNA replication machinery to completely duplicate the ends of linear chromosomes. Telomeres are also important for chromosome organization within the nucleus, especially during mitosis and meiosis. The contributions of telomeres and telomerases to plant genome stability have been confirmed by analysis of Arabidopsis mutants that lack telomerase activity. These mutants have unstable genomes, but manage to survive up to ten generations with increasingly shortened telomeres and cytogenetic abnormalities. Comparisons between telomerase-deficient Arabidopsis and telomerase-deficient mice reveal distinct differences in the consequences of massive genome damage, probably reflecting the greater developmental and genomic plasticity of plants.

Journal

Plant Molecular BiologySpringer Journals

Published: Oct 13, 2004

References

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