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Silencing of transposons in plant genomes: kick them when they're down

Daniel Zilberman and Steven Henikoff*

Author affiliations

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Basic Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109, USA

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Citation and License

Genome Biology 2004, 5:249  doi:10.1186/gb-2004-5-12-249

Published: 16 November 2004


Recent progress in understanding the silencing of transposable elements in the model plant Arabidopsis has revealed an interplay between DNA methylation, histone methylation and small interfering RNAs. DNA and histone methylation are not always sufficient to maintain silencing, and RNA-based reinforcement can be needed to maintain as well as initiate it.