Active DNA transposons are important tools for gene functional analysis. The endogenous non-autonomous transposon, nDart1-0, in rice (Oryza sativa L.) is expected to generate various transposon-insertion mutants because nDart1-0 elements tend to insert into genic regions under natural growth conditions. We have developed a specific method (nDart1-0-iPCR) for efficient detection of nDart1-0 insertions and successfully identified the SNOW-WHITE LEAF1 (SWL1) gene in a variegated albino (swl1-v) mutant obtained from the nDart1-promoted rice tagging line. The variegated albino phenotype was caused by insertion and excision of nDart1-0 in the 5′-untranslated region of the SWL1 gene predicted to encode an unknown protein with the N-terminal chloroplast transit peptide. SWL1 expression was detected in various rice tissues at different developmental stages. However, immunoblot analysis indicated that SWL1 protein accumulation was strictly regulated in a tissue-specific manner. In the swl1 mutant, formations of grana and stroma thylakoids and prolamellar bodies were inhibited. This study revealed that SWL1 is essential for the beginning of thylakoid membrane organization during chloroplast development. Furthermore, we provide a developmental perspective on the nDart1-promoted tagging line to characterize unidentified gene functions in rice.
Keywords: DNA transposon; Gene tagging; iPCR; Oryza sativa; Plastid development; Variegated leaf
Journal Article. 7143 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry ; Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology
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