More than 80% of the wheat genome is composed of transposable elements (TEs). Since active TEs can move to different locations and potentially impose a significant mutational load, their expression is suppressed in the genome via small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs). sRNAs guide silencing of TEs at the transcriptional (mainly 24-nt sRNAs) and post-transcriptional (mainly 21-nt sRNAs) levels. In this study, we report the distribution of these two types of sRNAs among the different classes of wheat TEs, the regions targeted within the TEs, and their impact on the methylation patterns of the targeted regions.
Cantu, D., Vanzetti, L. S., Sumner, A., Dubcovsky, M., Matvienko, M., Distelfeld, A., … Dubcovsky, J. (2010). Small RNAs, DNA methylation and transposable elements in wheat. BMC Genomics, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2164-11-408