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Curr Genet. 1994 Jan;25(1):52-8.

A unique sequence located downstream from the rice mitochondrial atp6 may cause male sterility.

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  • 1Plant Biotechnology Laboratory, Mitsui Toatsu Chemicals, Inc., Mobara, Japan.


Asymmetric cell-fusion of the japonica cultivar of Oryza sativa (rice) with cytoplasmic-male-sterile (CMS) plants bearing cytoplasm derived from Chinsurah Boro II, resulted in two classes of cytoplasmic hybrids (cybrids), fertile and CMS. Southern-blot analysis of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) indicates recombination events around a number of genes; however, the appearance of the CMS character is tightly correlated to reorganization around the atp6 gene, suggesting recombination downstream from the atp6 gene is involved in CMS. The nucleotide sequence downstream from atp6 contains a pseudogene which was probably created by recombination of the mitochondrial genome. Sense and antisense transcripts of the downstream region of atp6 were found in CMS- and restored CMS (fertile)-lines, but not in the normal (fertile) line. In the CMS line, several antisense transcripts of the atp6 gene were also found. However, in the restored line which contains a nuclear-encoded gene, Rf-1, the levels of these transcripts were lower than in the CMS line. These results suggest abnormal transcripts of the atp6 gene produced in the antisense direction may be involved in CMS, and that products of the nuclear-encoded restorer gene may reduce abnormal transcription in this region of the mitochondrial genome.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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