"Our analysis suggests that a small number of maize transposable element families may contribute to the response of nearby genes to abiotic stress by providing stress-responsive enhancer-like functions. The specific insertions of transposable elements are" often polymorphic within a species. Our data demonstrate that allelic variation for insertions of the transposable elements associated with stress-responsive expression can contribute to variation in the regulation of nearby genes. Thus novel insertions of transposable elements provide a potential mechanism for genes to acquire cis-regulatory influences that could contribute to heritable variation for stress response."
Via Mary Williams