It has been demonstrated that insertion of foreign DNA into mammalian genome can profoundly alter the patterns of DNA methylation and transcription of the host genome. Introgression of alien DNA into plant genomes through sexual crossing and genetic engineering are commonly used in breeding, but it is not known if plant genomes have similar responses to alien DNA introgression as those of animals. Two stable rice lines with introgression from wild rice, Zizania latifolia, were analyzed for patterns of cytosine DNA methylation and transcription of a set of selected sequences, including cellular genes and transposable element (TE)-related DNA segments. In 21 of the 30 studied sequences, marked changes in DNA methylation and/or transcription were observed compared with those of the rice parent. In all analyzed sequences, the absence of Zizania homologues in the introgression lines was confirmed. No change in DNA methylation and expression patterns was detected in randomly selected individuals of the rice parent nor in two sibling lines without introgressed Zizania DNA. The changed methylation patterns in both introgression lines were stably maintained in all five randomly sampled individuals of a given line, as well as in selfed progenies of the lines. Changed patterns in methylation and expression were also found in an independently produced asymmetric somatic nuclear hybrid (SH6) of rice and Z. latifolia that involves a different rice genotype but also contains a small amount of Z. latifolia DNA integrated into the rice genome. Thus, we have demonstrated that alien DNA introgression into a plant genome can induce extensive alterations in DNA methylation and transcription of both cellular genes and TE-related DNA segments in a genotype-independent manner.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 10, 2004
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