Retrotransposons were extensively surveyed in rice using two molecular methods. The total copy number of retrotransposons in the rice genome was estimated to be about 1000 and 32 families were isolated, showing that retrotransposons are a major class of transposable elements in rice. Although these retrotransposons appear inactive during normal growth conditions, 5 out of 32 families were active under tissue culture conditions. The most active element, Tos17, was studied in detail. Its activity was show to be regulated mainly at the transcriptional level. The analysis of target sites of transposition indicated that activation of Tos17 is an important cause of tissue culture-induced mutations in rice. Tissue culture-induced activation of Tos17 was used to develop the site-selected mutagenesis system, in which mutants carrying a Tos17 insertion in the gene of interest can be identified among rice plants regenerated from tissue culture by the PCR using one primer for the ends of Tos17 and another for the gene of interest. This system will contribute to understanding the functions of rice genes whose sequences are being determined by the rice genome project.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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