Research

  Transposons, the mobile DNAs, are abundant in most eukaryotic genomes. Because of their mobile nature, transposons have been regarded as harmful genomic factors posing considerable threat to the genome integrity. On the other hand, growing body of evidence suggests that transposons are essential genomic elements that brings about genome evolution and diversification of gene functions and activities. Particularly in plant genomes, transposons take up the largest fraction of the chromosomal DNAs. However, despite the long history of transposon studies, we are still far from understanding how transposons move. Therefore, we aim to unveil the regulatory mechanisms for transposon jumping using Arabidopsis and rice as the model plants. To this end, we have established novel methods that allow us to detect the transposon jumping in real time and at single-cell level. Using these novel methods, we are currently investigating both trans-acting regulators of the host genome and cis-acting elements embedded within transposons. Ultimately, we expect that our research will not only provide the unprecedented insights into the regulation of transposon mobility but also contribute to global food security by improving the crop production and breeding.


     




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