Transposable Elements in Spruce

  • Giovanni Marturano
  • Camilla Canovi
  • Federico Rossi
  • Andrea ZuccoloEmail author
Part of the Compendium of Plant Genomes book series (CPG)


Transposable elements (TEs), along with other repetitive sequences, were dismissed for a long time as junk DNA. Over the years, much evidence accumulated, clarifying how TEs are instead major components of host genomes and have a substantial role in shaping genome structure, functioning, and evolution. In plants, TEs were mostly studied in important model and crop species, in particular, Arabidopsis, rice, and maize. The studies focusing on TEs in gymnosperms lagged behind for different reasons, last but not least, the enormous genome sizes for most species belonging to this group. Recently, the decrease in sequencing cost and advances in assembly algorithms allowed whole-genome sequencing of conifers such as Norway spruce, white spruce, and loblolly pine (Nystedt et al. 2013, Birol et al. 2013, Neale et al. 2014). The availability of such genomic data enabled a more comprehensive and insightful study of TEs starting to depict patterns quite different from the ones already described for angiosperms. In this chapter, we present and discuss the available and newly generated data regarding Norway spruce TEs comparing evidence gathered from genomic and transcriptomic analyses with analogous data of other conifers, crops, and model species, pointing out similarities and differences.


Transposable elements Long terminal repeat retrotransposons Genome size Unequal recombination Methylation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Marturano
    • 1
  • Camilla Canovi
    • 2
  • Federico Rossi
    • 3
  • Andrea Zuccolo
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Life Sciences, Scuola Superiore Sant’AnnaPisaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Agro-Ambientali, Università di PisaPisaItaly
  3. 3.Medical and Molecular Genetics DepartmentKing’s CollegeLondonUK

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