An endogenous 0.6-kb rice DNA transposon, nDart1, has been identified as a causative element of a spontaneous mutable virescent allele pyl-v conferring pale-yellow leaves with dark-green sectors in the seedlings, due to somatic excision of nDart1 integrated into the OsClpP5 gene encoding the nuclear-coded chloroplast protease. As the transposition of nDart1 depends on the presence of an active autonomous aDart element in the genome, the plants exhibiting the leaf variegation carry the active aDart element. As several mutable alleles caused by nDart1 insertions have subsequently been identified, nDart1-promoted gene tagging has been proven to be an effective system. At present, the nDart/aDart system appears to be the only endogenous rice DNA transposon system whose transposition activity can be controlled under natural growth conditions without any artificial treatments, including tissue cultures. To apply the nDart/aDart tagging system in various cultivated rice varieties, we explored the presence and distribution of an active autonomous aDart element in 19 temperate japonica, 30 tropical japonica, and 51 indica varieties. Only eight temperate japonica varieties were found to bear a single copy of an active aDart element, and no aDart activity could be detected in the indica varieties examined. Six of seven japonica varieties appear to carry the active aDart element at the identical site on chromosome 6, whereas the remaining one contains aDart on chromosome 5. Leaf variegations in the plants with the mutable pyl-v allele and the excision frequencies of endogenous nDart1 elements indicated that the aDart element on chromosome 6 is more active than that on chromosome 5. The findings described here are an important step in the development of a new and efficient nDart1-promoted gene-tagging system in various rice cultivars.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agronomy and Crop Science