The Arabidopsis transposon Tag1 is active in rice, undergoing germinal transposition and restricted, late somatic excision

Mol Gen Genet. 1999 Oct;262(3):413-20. doi: 10.1007/s004380051100.


Tag1 is an autonomous transposable element of Arabidopsis thaliana that displays tight developmental control of its excision during shoot development. To determine how Tag1 behaves in a monocotyledonous species, Tag1 was inserted in a 35S-GUS marker gene and the construct was introduced into rice. Tag1 showed somatic excision activity in four out of eleven transgenic lines examined. In leaves, excision was primarily restricted to vascular bundles and produced sectors composed of only a few cells. Excision events in flowers occurred predominantly in or near the major veins of the palea and lemma to produce small sectors. In roots, small sectors were evident, but they were few in number. These data show that the timing of Tag1 excision during rice shoot development is late and mimics the late excision behavior of Tag1 in Arabidopsis. One of the transgenic rice lines, which had a high frequency of somatic excision, produced several germinal revertants, one of which was characterized by a new Tag1 insertion band. The pattern of Tag1 transcripts and the footprint sequences left behind after excision in rice were found to be very similar to those in Arabidopsis. These results show that key properties of Tag1 transposition and behavior are conserved between monocots and dicots and that Tag1 has the potential to serve as an insertional mutagen in rice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Cell Division
  • DNA Footprinting
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Gene Rearrangement*
  • Magnoliopsida / genetics
  • Oryza / genetics*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Recombination, Genetic*


  • DNA Transposable Elements