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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jul 23, 1996; 93(15): 7783–7788.
PMCID: PMC38825

Retrotransposons of rice involved in mutations induced by tissue culture.

Abstract

Five retrotransposon families of rice (Tos1-Tos5) have been reported previously. Here we report 15 new retrotransposon families of rice (Tos6-Tos20). In contrast to yeast and Drosophila retrotransposons, all of the rice retrotransposons examined appear inactive (or almost inactive) under normal growth conditions. Three of the rice retrotransposons (Tos10, Tos17, and Tos19) are activated under tissue culture conditions. The most active one, Tos17, was studied in detail. The copy number of Tos17 increased with prolonged culture period. In all of the plants regenerated from tissue cultures, including transgenic plants, 5 to 30 transposed Tos17 copies were detected. The transcript of Tos17 was only detected under tissue culture conditions, indicating that the transposition of Tos17 is mainly regulated at the transcriptional level. To examine the target-site specificity of Tos17 transposition, sequences flanking transposed Tos17 copies were analyzed. At least four out of eight target sites examined are coding regions. Other target sites may also be in genes because two out of four were transcribed. The regenerated plants with Tos17-insertions in the phytochrome A gene and the S-receptor kinase-related gene were identified. These results indicate that activation of Tos17 is an important cause of tissue culture-induced mutations. Tissue culture-induced activation of Tos17 may be a useful tool for insertional mutagenesis and functional analysis of genes.

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Selected References

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