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Plant Physiol. 2002 Dec;130(4):1697-705.

Dasheng and RIRE2. A nonautonomous long terminal repeat element and its putative autonomous partner in the rice genome.

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  • 1Department of Plant Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA.


Dasheng is one of the highest copy number long terminal repeat elements and one of the most recent elements to amplify in the rice (Oryza sativa) genome. However, the absence of any significant coding capacity for retroviral proteins, including gag and pol, suggests that Dasheng is a nonautonomous element. Here, we have exploited the availability of 360 Mb of rice genomic sequence to identify a candidate autonomous element. RIRE2 is a previously described gypsy-like long terminal repeat retrotransposon with significant sequence similarity to Dasheng in the regions where putative cis factors for retrotransposition are thought to be located. Dasheng and RIRE2 elements have similar chromosomal distribution patterns and similar target site sequences, suggesting that they use the same transposition machinery. In addition, the presence of several RIRE2-Dasheng element chimeras in the genome is consistent with the copackaging of element mRNAs in the same virus-like particle. Finally, both families have recently amplified members, suggesting that they could have been co-expressed, a necessary prerequisite for RIRE2 to serve as the source of transposition machinery for Dasheng. Consistent with this hypothesis, transcripts from both elements were found in the same expressed sequence tag library.

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