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Plant J. 1999 Sep;19(5):605-13.

Ac as a tool for the functional genomics of rice.

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Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Takayama, Ikoma, Japan.


To examine whether the maize autonomous transposable element Ac can be used for the functional analysis of the rice genome, we used Southern blot analysis to analyze the behaviour of Ac in 559 rice plants of four transgenic families through three successive generations. All families showed highly active transposition of Ac, and 103 plants (18.4%) contained newly transposed Ac insertions. In nine of the 12 independent transpositions analyzed, their germinal transmission was detected. Partial sequencing of 99 Ac-flanking sequences revealed that 21 clones exhibited significant similarities with protein-coding genes in databases and four of them matched rice cDNA sequences. These results indicate preferential Ac transposition into protein-coding rice genes. To examine the feasibility of PCR-based screening of gene knockouts in rice Ac plants, we prepared bulked genomic DNA from the leaves of approximately 6000 rice Ac plants and pooled the DNA according to a three-dimensional matrix. Of 14 randomly selected genes, two gene knockouts were identified, and one encoding a rice cytochrome P450 (CYP86) gene was shown to be stably inherited to the progeny. Together, these results suggest that Ac can be efficiently used for the functional analysis of the rice genome.

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