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A reverse transcriptase gene is usually indicative of a mobile element such as a retrotransposon or retrovirus. Reverse transcriptases occur in a variety of mobile elements, including retrotransposons, retroviruses, group II introns, bacterial msDNAs, hepadnaviruses, and caulimoviruses.
The use of an RNA template to produce DNA, for integration into the host genome and exploitation of a host cell, is a strategy employed in the replication of retroid elements, such as the retroviruses and bacterial retrons. The enzyme catalysing polymerisation is an RNA-directed DNA-polymerase, or reverse trancriptase (RT) (EC). Reverse transcriptase occurs in a variety of mobile elements, including retrotransposons, retroviruses, group II introns [PUBMED:12758069], bacterial msDNAs, hepadnaviruses, and caulimoviruses.
Xiong Y, Eickbush TH; , EMBO J 1990;9:3353-3362.: Origin and evolution of retroelements based upon their reverse transcriptase sequences. PUBMED:1698615 EPMC:1698615.