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Science. 2018 Jun 8;360(6393):1130-1132. doi: 10.1126/science.aar4279.

A selfish genetic element confers non-Mendelian inheritance in rice.

Author information

1
National Key Laboratory for Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement, Jiangsu Plant Gene Engineering Research Center, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China.
2
National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic Improvement, Institute of Crop Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China.
3
Food Crops Research Institute, Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Kunming 650200, China.
4
State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China.
5
National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic Improvement, Institute of Crop Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China. wanjianmin@caas.cn wanghaiyang@caas.cn taody12@aliyun.com wuchuanyin@caas.cn.
6
Food Crops Research Institute, Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Kunming 650200, China. wanjianmin@caas.cn wanghaiyang@caas.cn taody12@aliyun.com wuchuanyin@caas.cn.

Abstract

Selfish genetic elements are pervasive in eukaryote genomes, but their role remains controversial. We show that qHMS7, a major quantitative genetic locus for hybrid male sterility between wild rice (Oryza meridionalis) and Asian cultivated rice (O. sativa), contains two tightly linked genes [Open Reading Frame 2 (ORF2) and ORF3]. ORF2 encodes a toxic genetic element that aborts pollen in a sporophytic manner, whereas ORF3 encodes an antidote that protects pollen in a gametophytic manner. Pollens lacking ORF3 are selectively eliminated, leading to segregation distortion in the progeny. Analysis of the genetic sequence suggests that ORF3 arose first, followed by gradual functionalization of ORF2 Furthermore, this toxin-antidote system may have promoted the differentiation and/or maintained the genome stability of wild and cultivated rice.

PMID:
29880691
DOI:
10.1126/science.aar4279
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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