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Cell Mol Biol Lett. 2004;9(3):543-56.

DNA methylation polymorphism in a set of elite rice cultivars and its possible contribution to inter-cultivar differential gene expression.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Epigenetics, Institute of Genetics and Cytology, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China.


RAPD (randomly amplified polymorphic DNA) and ISSR (inter-simple sequence repeat) fingerprinting on HpaII/MspI-digested genomic DNA of nine elite japonica rice cultivars implies inter-cultivar DNA methylation polymorphism. Using both DNA fragments isolated from RAPD or ISSR gels and selected low-copy sequences as probes, methylation-sensitive Southern blot analysis confirms the existence of extensive DNA methylation polymorphism in both genes and DNA repeats among the rice cultivars. The cultivar-specific methylation patterns are stably maintained, and can be used as reliable molecular markers. Transcriptional analysis of four selected sequences (RdRP, AC9, HSP90 and MMR) on leaves and roots from normal and 5-azacytidine-treated seedlings of three representative cultivars shows an association between the transcriptional activity of one of the genes, the mismatch repair (MMR) gene, and its CG methylation patterns.

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