Dynamics of highly repetitive DNA fraction, that compose up to 99% of large cereal genomes, is a key for understanding mechanisms of speciation on molecular level. Components of this fraction and particulary transposable elements (TEs) wre explored in diploid ancestor of cultivated wheat - the species Sitopsis group (Aegilops, Podceae) by molecular cytogenetics and molecular genetic methods. It was discovered that TE is highly dynamic in time and space and could promote or intensify morphological and karyotypical changes, some of which may be potentially important for the process of microevolution, and allow species with plastic genomes to survive as new forms or even species in times of rapid climatic changes.
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (grant no. 723/07).
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