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Genomics. 2009 Mar;93(3):274-81. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2008.11.007. Epub 2008 Dec 23.

Identification of a high frequency transposon induced by tissue culture, nDaiZ, a member of the hAT family in rice.

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State Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics and Center for Plant Gene Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.


Recent completion of rice genome sequencing has revealed that more than 40% of its genome consists of repetitive sequences, and most of them are related to inactive transposable elements. In the present study, a transposable element, nDaiZ0, which is induced by tissue culture with high frequency, was identified by sequence analysis of an allelic line of the golden hull and internode 2 (gh2) mutant, which was integrated into the forth exon of GH2. The 528-bp nDaiZ0 has 14-bp terminal inverted repeats (TIRs), and generates an 8-bp duplication of its target sites (TSD) during its mobilization. nDaiZs are non-autonomous transposons and have no coding capacity. Bioinformatics analysis and southern blot hybridization showed that at least 16 copies of nDaiZ elements exist in the japonica cultivar Nipponbare genome and 11 copies in the indica cultivar 93-11 genome. During tissue culture, only one copy, nDaiZ9, located on chromosome 5 in the genome of Nipponbare can be activated with its transposable frequency reaching 30%. However, nDaiZ9 was not present in the 93-11 genome. The larger elements, DaiZs, were further identified by database searching using nDaiZ0 as a query because they share similar TIRs and subterminal sequences. DaiZ can also generate an 8-bp TSD. DaiZ elements contain a conserved region with a high similarity to the hAT dimerization motif, suggesting that the nDaiZ-DaiZ transposon system probably belongs to the hAT superfamily of class II transposons. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that it is a new type of plant hAT-like transposon. Although nDaiZ is activated by tissue culture, the high transposable frequency indicates that it could become a useful gene tagging system for rice functional genomic studies. In addition, the mechanism of the high transposable ability of nDaiZ9 is discussed.

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