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Mol Genet Genomics. 2005 Jul;273(6):484-90. Epub 2005 Jun 21.

Analysis of DNA methylation related to rice adult plant resistance to bacterial blight based on methylation-sensitive AFLP (MSAP) analysis.

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  • 1National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, National Center of Crop Molecular Breeding, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China.


DNA methylation is known to play an important role in the regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes. The rice cultivar Wase Aikoku 3 becomes resistant to the blight pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae at the adult stage. Using methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) analysis, we compared the patterns of cytosine methylation in seedlings and adult plants of the rice cultivar Wase Aikoku 3 that had been inoculated with the pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, subjected to mock inoculation or left untreated. In all, 2000 DNA fragments, each representing a recognition site cleaved by either or both of two isoschizomers, were amplified using 60 pairs of selective primers. A total of 380 sites were found to be methylated. Of these, 45 showed differential cytosine methylation among the seedlings and adult plants subjected to different treatments, and overall levels of methylation were higher in adult plants than in seedlings. All polymorphic fragments were sequenced, and six showed homology to genes that code for products of known function. Northern analysis of three fragments indicated that their expression varied with methylation pattern, with hypermethylation being correlated with repression of transcription, as expected. The results suggest that significant differences in cytosine methylation exist between seedlings and adult plants, and that hypermethylation or hypomethylation of specific genes may be involved in the development of adult plant resistance (APR) in rice plants.

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