SEMINARIO: The diversity of repeat sequences in plant telomeres
Telomeres are specific DNA-protein structures found in terminal chromosomal domains, with functions related to the regulation of cell-senescence by protecting chromosome-ends. The DNA sequences of telomeres are constituted by minisatellite repeats whose monomers are well conserved across large groups of organisms. Typically, we can refer to the plant-type telomere repeat as (TTTAGGG)n, shared by most plants, and to the human-type telomere repeat as (TTAGGG)n, shared by vertebrates and other animals. However, the recent finding of unusual telomeric sequences in plants revealed that the actual diversity of these important components of the genomes has been underestimated. In this talk, interesting historical details of telomere research will also be explained, highlighting the recent ongoing projects on this topic between the Institut Botànic de Barcelona (IBB, CSIC- Ajuntament de Barcelona) and the Institute of Biophysics (Czech Academy of Sciences). Finally, we will explain the different approaches and methodologies – from NGS data analyses to molecular cytogenetics – that have been employed to uncover unusual telomere sequences, as well as the discovery of the telomerase RNA in plants published last year.