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Plant J. 2001 Jan;25(2):169-79.

Survey of transposable elements from rice genomic sequences.

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Department of Biology, McGill University, 1205 Docteur Penfield Avenue, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H3A 1B1.


Oryza sativa L. (domesticated rice) is a monocotyledonous plant, and its 430 Mb genome has been targeted for complete sequencing. We performed a high-resolution computer-based survey for transposable elements on 910 Kb of rice genomic DNA sequences. Both class I and II transposable elements were present, contributing 19.9% of the sequences surveyed. Class II elements greatly outnumbered class I elements (166 versus 22), although class I elements made up a greater percentage (12.2% versus 6.6%) of nucleotides surveyed. Several Mutator-like elements (MULEs) were identified, including rice elements that harbor truncated host cellular genes. MITEs (miniature inverted-repeat transposable elements) account for 71.6% of the mined transposable elements and are clearly the predominant type of transposable element in the sequences examined. Moreover, a putative Stowaway transposase has been identified based on shared sequence similarity with the mined MITEs and previously identified plant mariner-like elements (MLEs). Members of a group of novel rice elements resembling the structurally unusual members of the Basho family in Arabidopsis suggest a wide distribution of these transposons among plants. Our survey provides a preview of transposable element diversity and abundance in rice, and allows for comparison with genomes of other plant species.

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