Blunt-ended telomeres: an alternative ending to the replication and end protection stories. Academic Article uri icon


  • Telomeres ensure the complete replication of genetic material while simultaneously distinguishing the chromosome terminus from a double-strand break. A prevailing theme in telomere biology is that the two chromosome ends are symmetrical. Both terminate in a single-strand 3' extension, and the 3' extension is crucial for telomere end protection. In this issue of Genes & Development, Kazda and colleagues (pp. 1703-1713) challenge this paradigm using a series of elegant biochemical and genetic assays to demonstrate that half of the chromosomes in flowering plants are blunt-ended. This discovery reveals unanticipated complexity in telomeric DNA processing and a novel mode of chromosome end protection.

published proceedings

  • Genes Dev

author list (cited authors)

  • Nelson, A., & Shippen, D. E.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Nelson, Andrew DL||Shippen, Dorothy E

publication date

  • August 2012