J Integr Plant Biol ›› 2017, Vol. 59 ›› Issue (3): 158-163.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12518

• Letter to the Editor •     Next Articles

An epiallele of rice AK1 affects photosynthetic capacity

Xiangjin Wei1, Xianwei Song2, Liya Wei3, Shaoqing Tang1, Jing Sun2, Peisong Hu1* and Xiaofeng Cao2*   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology, Key Laboratory of Rice Biology and Breeding of Ministry of Agriculture, China National Rice Research Institute, Hangzhou, China
    2State Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics and National Center for Plant Gene Research, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    3College of Life Sciences, Hebei University, Baoding 071002, Hebei, China

Abstract:

Epigenetic gene variants, termed epialleles, can broaden genetic and phenotypic diversity in eukaryotes. Here, we identify a natural epiallele of OsAK1, which encodes a rice adenylate kinase. The Epi-ak1 plants show albino in young leaf and panicle with abnormal chloroplast structures. We found that no nucleotide sequence variation but hypermethylation at promoter region caused silencing of OsAK1 (Os08g01770) in Epi-ak1 plants. OsAK1 localizes to chloroplast and many genes associated with photosynthesis processes were downregulated in Epi-ak1. Thus, the work identified a novel rice epiallele caused by DNA methylation changes, shedding light on significant roles of DNA methylation on rice development.

A naturally epigenetic gene variant, which carries hypermethylated cytosines at promoter of OsAK1 (Os08g01770), was identified in rice. The hypermethylation causes silencing of this gene and leads to albino in young leaf and panicle, shedding light on significant roles of DNA methylation on rice development.
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