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Keeping in trim

点击量:   时间:2019-03-06 11:12:02

GENOMES may be able to shed their flab, say Ken Shirasu and his colleagues at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, Norfolk. As much as 70 per cent of the DNA in some organisms consists of repetitive sequences created by “jumping genes” or retrotransposons—parasitic bits of DNA that can copy themselves. Many crops have genomes that are particularly bloated and “obese”. Shirasu, however, discovered that the genome of barley contains leftover fragments of retrotransposons called single long terminal repeats, which suggests that large sections of repetitive DNA have been cut out. This isn’t a random process,