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J Mol Evol. 1994 Feb;38(2):132-7.

Retrotransposition of a plant SINE into the wx locus during evolution of rice.

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  • 1National Institute of Genetics, Mishima-she, Japan.


A new type of plant retroposon, p-SINE1, has been found in the wx locus of rice (Oryza sativa). It has some structural characteristics similar to those of mammalian SINEs, such as members of the Alu or B1 family. In order to estimate the time at which the integration of p-SINE1 into a single locus occurred during rice evolution, we examined the distribution of two members of p-SINE1 in several species of the Oryza genus by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We found that one member of p-SINE1 (p-SINE1-r2) in the ninth intron of the wx+ gene was present only in two closely related species, O. sativa and O. rufipogon, and was not present in the other species carrying the AA genome within the Oryza genus. This result indicates that p-SINE1-r2 was integrated into the wx locus after O. sativa and O. rufipogon had diverged from other species with the AA genome. In contrast to p-SINE1-r2, another member (p-SINE1-r1) located in the untranslated 5'-region of the wx+ gene was present not only in all species with the AA genome but also in species with a different genome (CCDD). This result suggests that p-SINE1-r1 was integrated into that position prior to the genomic divergence. Thus, it appears that each member of p-SINE1 was retroposed at a specific site at a different time during rice evolution.

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