Essam A. Zaki*
Retroelements, which replicate by reverse transcription, have been detected in higher plants, higher animals, fungi, insects and bacteria. They have been classified into viral retroelements, eukaryotic chromosomal non-viral retroelements and bacterial chromosomal retroelements. Until recently, retroviruses were thought to be restricted to vertebrates. Plant sequencing projects revealed that plant genomes contain retroviral-like sequences. This review aims to address the structure and evolution of plant retroviruses. In addition, it proposes future applications for these important key components of plant genomes.
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