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PLoS Genetics Issue Image | Vol. 16(7) August 2020

PLoS Genetics Issue Image | Vol. 16(7) August 2020

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Phenotypic variation hints the inadvertent consequences of the epigenetic silencing of transposable elements

Animals and plants can epigenetically silence a widespread genomic parasite, transposable element (TEs), to counteract TEs' selfish increase. However, studies on the genetic basis of a wide array of phenotypic traits suggested that the supposedly beneficial epigenetic silencing of TEs could inadvertently influence nearby host genes' functions. In these examples, the presence of a TE insertion, irrespective of TE type (IAP, MuLE, LINE, or GynohAT), is associated with nearby genes' silencing, contributing to variation in mouse coat color, color streaks in morning glory, bonsai-like Arabidopsis, and female flower of muskmelon. See Choi, Lee.

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Image Credit: Ramin Rahni

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Phenotypic variation hints the inadvertent consequences of the epigenetic silencing of transposable elements

Animals and plants can epigenetically silence a widespread genomic parasite, transposable element (TEs), to counteract TEs' selfish increase. However, studies on the genetic basis of a wide array of phenotypic traits suggested that the supposedly beneficial epigenetic silencing of TEs could inadvertently influence nearby host genes' functions. In these examples, the presence of a TE insertion, irrespective of TE type (IAP, MuLE, LINE, or GynohAT), is associated with nearby genes' silencing, contributing to variation in mouse coat color, color streaks in morning glory, bonsai-like Arabidopsis, and female flower of muskmelon. See Choi, Lee.

Download July's cover page.

Image Credit: Ramin Rahni

https://doi.org/10.1371/image.pgen.v16.i07.g001