The transposable genetic elements, or transposons, as they are now known, have had a tumultuous history. Discovered in the mid-20th century by Barbara McClintock, they were initially received with puzzlement. When their genomic abundance began to be apparent, they were categorized as "junk DNA" and acquired the label of parasites. Expanding understanding of gene and genome organization has revealed the profound extent of their impact on both.
Plant Transposons and Genome Dynamics in Evolution captures and distills the voluminous research literature on plant transposable elements and seeks to assemble the big picture of how transposons shape gene structure and regulation, as well as how they sculpt genomes in evolution. Individual chapters provide concise overviews of the many flavors of plant transposons and of their roles in gene creation, gene regulation, development, genome evolution, and organismal speciation, as well as of their epigenetic regulation.
This volume is essential reading for anyone working in plant genetics, epigenetics, or evolutionary biology.
Nina V. Fedoroff is Distinguished Professor of Biosciences, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, and Evan Pugh Professor, Huck Institutes of Life Sciences, Penn State University.
Part I. Natural history of transposons
Chapter 1. Discovery of plant transposable elements (Nina Fedoroff)
Chapter 2. Transposon structures, categories and numbers (Jeff Bennetzen and/or Enrico Coen)
Part II. Molecular genetics and epigenetics of plant transposons
Chapter 3. Molecular genetics and transposition mechanisms (Tom Peterson and/or George Coupland)
Chapter 4. Use of transposons as mutagens and gene tags (Jonathan Jones and Caroline Dean)
Part III. Epigenetic regulation of transposons
Chapter 5. Transposon epigenetics (Nina Fedoroff)
Chapter 6. Molecular biology of transposon epigenetic regulation (Rob Martienssen or Vicki Chandler)
Part IV. Transposons in development and physiology
Chapter 7. Transposons in gene regulation (Susan Wessler)
Chapter 8. Transposons in genome imprinting (Steve Henikoff)
Part V. Transposons in evolution
Chapter 9. Transposons and gene creation (Hugo Dooner)
Chapter 10. Transposons and genome evolution (Jeff Bennetzen)
Chapter 11. Transposons in allopolyploidization and speciation (Avi Levy