How to Manage All Those Plant Transposable Elements
Friday, July 31, 2020
4:00 PM – 5:15 PM EDT
The vast majority of plant DNA is derived from repetitive ‘jumping genes’ known as transposable elements (TEs), which most researchers consider to be junk DNA. The era of genomics and CRISPR has allowed plant biologists to work on virtually any plant, including crops, but these large genomes are 50%-95% comprised of TEs. Although researchers try to ignore these non-genic regions, TEs consistently befuddle genomic, bioinformatic, mapping and single-gene analyses. Common mistakes include the complete masking of repetitive DNA, only using the unique fraction of deep sequencing reads, and ignoring the role of TEs in the regulation of a favorite gene. Each of these approaches are taken to avoid TEs, and each skews results and leads to false findings and a lack of data reproducibility. As a community, plant biologists need to be trained and have better tools to handle the TE-majority of plant genomes. This workshop will assemble a diverse set of key researchers who understand the problems that academic and industry researchers encounter due to TEs. They will fairly disseminate to the community best-practices to combat these problems and be successful in their research. The goal of this workshop is to empower the attendees to get the most and best out of their data.