I was just reading this nature paper (doi:10.1038/nature08670) by Schmutz et al. regarding the genome sequence of soybeans. One paragraph in particular caught my eye--on page 179, right-hand column, it says "A combination of structure-based analyses...The soybean genome contains ~42% LTR retrotransposons...of the 510 families containing 14,106 intact elements, 69% are Gypsy-like and the remainder Copia-like."
I understand that Copia retrotransposon elements are ubiquitous in plants, and that Gypsy REs are found in only some plants. The REs can be used to understand genomic structure and trace ancestral lines, but what is the significance of a domesticated plant having a greater number of Gypsy REs than Copia REs?
P.S. This isn't a homework question. I have an animal science background, not plant science.
Gypsy vs. copia retrotransposons
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