J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2004, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (1): 100-109.

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Alien DNA Introgression into Rice Causes Heritable Alterations in DNA Methylation Patterns in an Active Retrotransposon Tos17

DONG Yu-Zhu, LIU Zhen-Lan, DONG Ying-Shan, HAN Fang-Pu, HE Meng-Yuan, HAO Shui, LIU Bao   


Heritable alteration in DNA methylation patterns was detected in all five rice lines with introgressed DNA segments from wild rice (Zizania latifolia (Griseb.)) by DNA gel blotting analysis with an endogenous retrotransposon Tos17 as a probe. The changing patterns include simultaneous loss of parental fragments and appearance of novel fragments in each of the four methylation-sensitive enzyme digests. Methylation modifications include cytosines at both symmetrical and asymmetrical sites, as well as adenine bases. Sequence analysis at two critical regions of  Tos17, i.e. the 5''-LTR region (region Ⅰ) and the reverse transcriptase region (region Ⅱ) showed complete conservation for all five introgression lines compared with the parent. Sequence-specific PCR assay, however, confirmed that methylation changes occurred in both regions. Moreover, concordance in the collective methylation changes between 5''-LTR and RT regions was observed in two of the introgression lines. The methylation changes are stably inherited to the next generation. Because earlier studies showed that there had been activation and mobilization of  Tos17 in these introgression lines following alien DNA integration, it appears likely that DNA methylation may have played some roles in controlling activity of  Tos17 in rice, although the exact relationship between the two phenomena remains to be established.

Key words: alien DNA introgression, DNA methylation, retrotransposon activity, epigenetics

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