__ qua non

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Possible Answers: SINE.

Last seen on: –L.A. Times Daily – Apr 3 2020
Newsday.com Crossword – May 19 2019

Random information on the term “SINE”:

Retrotransposons (also called transposons via RNA intermediates) are genetic elements that can amplify themselves in a genome and are ubiquitous components of the DNA of many eukaryotic organisms. These DNA sequences use a “copy-and-paste” mechanism, whereby they are first transcribed into RNA, then converted back into identical DNA sequences using reverse transcription, and these sequences are then inserted into the genome at target sites.

Retrotransposons form one of the two subclasses of transposons, where the others are DNA transposons, which does not involve an RNA intermediate.

Retrotransposons are particularly abundant in plants, where they are often a principal component of nuclear DNA. In maize, 49–78% of the genome is made up of retrotransposons. In wheat, about 90% of the genome consists of repeated sequences and 68% of transposable elements. In mammals, almost half the genome (45% to 48%) is transposons or remnants of transposons. Around 42% of the human genome is made up of retrotransposons, while DNA transposons account for about 2–3%.

SINE on Wikipedia