Chromosome Research

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 217–223 | Cite as

Control of transposable elements in Arabidopsis thaliana

  • Hidetaka Ito
  • Tetsuji Kakutani


Arabidopsis thaliana serves as a very good model organism to investigate the control of transposable elements (TEs) by genetic and genomic approaches. As TE movements are potentially deleterious to the hosts, hosts silence TEs by epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation. DNA methylation is controlled by DNA methyltransferases and other regulators, including histone modifiers and chromatin remodelers. RNAi machinery directs DNA methylation to euchromatic TEs, which is under developmental control. In addition to the epigenetic controls, some TEs are controlled by environmental factors. TEs often affect expression of nearby genes, providing evolutionary sources for epigenetic, developmental, and environmental gene controls, which could even be beneficial for the host.


Epigenetics Genomics DNA methylation Heterochromatin 



Transposable element


RNA interference




Decrease in DNA methylation




Domain-rearranged methyltransferase


Defective in RNA-directed DNA methylation


RNA-dependent RNA polymerase


RNA-directed DNA methylation


Dicer like


Flowering Wageningen


Suppressor of DRM1 DRM2 CMT3


Small-interfering RNA


Short interspersed nuclear element


Trans-acting small-interfering RNA


Terminal inverted repeat


Long terminal repeat


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Integrated GeneticsNational Institute of GeneticsMishimaJapan

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