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J Integr Plant Biol. 2013 Feb;55(2):122-30. doi: 10.1111/jipb.12000. Epub 2012 Nov 28.

An efficient rice mutagenesis system based on suspension-cultured cells.

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State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Subtropical Agro-bioresources, College of Life Sciences, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China.


Plant mutants are important bio-resources for crop breeding and gene functional studies. Conventional methods for generating mutant libraries by mutagenesis of seeds with physical or chemical agents are of low efficiency. Here, we developed a highly-efficient ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) mutagenesis system based on suspension-cultured cells, with rice (Oryza sativa L.) as an example. We show that treatment of suspension-cultured tiny cell clusters with 0.4% EMS for 18-22 h followed by differentiation and regeneration produced as high as 29.4% independent mutant lines with visible phenotypic variations, including a number of important agronomic traits such as grain size, panicle size, grain or panicle shape, tiller number and angle, heading date, male sterility, and disease sensitivity. No mosaic mutant was observed in the mutant lines tested. In this mutant library, we obtained a mutant with an abnormally elongated uppermost internode. Sequencing and functional analysis revealed that this is a new allelic mutant of eui (elongated uppermost internode) caused by two point mutations in the first exon of the EUI gene, representing a successful example of this mutagenesis system.

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