Revisiting an important component of plant genomes: microsatellites

Gao, Caihua, Ren, Xiaodong, Mason, Annaliese S., Li, Jiana, Wang, Wei, Xiao, Meili and Fu, Donghui (2013) Revisiting an important component of plant genomes: microsatellites. Functional Plant Biology, 40 7: 645-661. doi:10.1071/FP12325


Author Gao, Caihua
Ren, Xiaodong
Mason, Annaliese S.
Li, Jiana
Wang, Wei
Xiao, Meili
Fu, Donghui
Title Revisiting an important component of plant genomes: microsatellites
Journal name Functional Plant Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1445-4408
1445-4416
Publication date 2013-02-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/FP12325
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 40
Issue 7
Start page 645
End page 661
Total pages 17
Place of publication Collingwood, VIC, Australia
Publisher C S I R O Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Microsatellites are some of the most highly variable repetitive DNA tracts in genomes. Few studies focus on whether the characteristic instability of microsatellites is linked to phenotypic effects in plants. We summarise recent data to investigate how microsatellite variations affect gene expression and hence phenotype. We discuss how the basic characteristics of microsatellites may contribute to phenotypic effects. In summary, microsatellites in plants are universal and highly mutable, they coexist and coevolve with transposable elements, and are under selective pressure. The number of motif nucleotides, the type of motif and transposon activity all contribute to the nonrandom generation and decay of microsatellites, and to conservation and distribution biases. Although microsatellites are generated by accident, they mature through responses to environmental change before final decay. This process is mediated by organism adjustment mechanisms, which maintain a balance between birth versus death and growth versus decay in microsatellites. Close relationships also exist between the physical structure, variation and functionality of microsatellites: in most plant species, sequences containing microsatellites are associated with catalytic activity and binding functions, are expressed in the membrane and organelles, and participate in the developmental and metabolic processes. Microsatellites contribute to genome structure and functional plasticity, and may be considered to promote species evolution in plants in response to environmental changes. In conclusion, the generation, loss, functionality and evolution of microsatellites can be related to plant gene expression and functional alterations. The effect of microsatellites on phenotypic variation may be as significant in plants as it is in animals.
Keyword Evolution
Microsatellite distribution
Microsatellite function
Microsatellite variation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 11 February 2013.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Centre for Integrative Legume Research Publications
Official 2014 Collection
 
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