Telomeres, telomerase and plant development Academic Article uri icon


  • Telomeres are nucleoprotein structures that cap the ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes. Almost all plant telomeres contain a characteristic heptanucleotide, TTTAGGG, repeated in tandem array that extends for several kilobases. The length of the telomeric-DNA tract is dynamic, and subject to striking expansions and contractions that correlate with cellular differentiation. Telomeres are synthesized and maintained by the action of telomerase, a ribonucleoprotein with reverse transcriptase activity. Telomerase expression profiles mirror changes in telomere length, with the highest enzyme levels and telomere lengths associated with cells that have unlimited capacity for proliferation. The excitement of current research using Arabidopsis is that it is the first opportunity for studying the regulation of telomeres and telomerase in a genetically tractable, multicellular organism.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Shippen, D. E., & McKnight, T. D.

citation count

  • 28

publication date

  • April 1998