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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2001 Apr;4(2):118-22.

Contribution of the Tos17 retrotransposon to rice functional genomics.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, National Institute of Agrobiological Resources, Tsukuba, 305-8602, Ibaraki, Japan.


The ongoing international efforts of the Rice Genomic Sequencing Project have already generated a large amount of sequence data. The next important challenge will be to construct saturation mutant lines for the functional analysis of all of the genes revealed by this effort in the context of the rice plant as a whole. Recently, the endogenous retrotransposon Tos17 has been shown to be an efficient insertional mutagen. Considering the ease of mutagenesis with Tos17 and its multiple-copy nature, saturation mutagenesis with this retrotransposon should be feasible in rice. Ongoing reverse-genetics studies, such as the PCR-screening of mutants and cataloguing of mutants by sequencing Tos17-insertion sites, as well as traditional forward-genetics studies, have clearly demonstrated that the Tos17 system can significantly contribute to the functional genomics of rice.

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