dull: rice mutants with tissue-specific effects on the splicing of the waxy pre-mRNA

Plant J. 2000 Aug;23(4):451-60. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-313x.2000.00803.x.


In the endosperm of japonica rice, du-1 and du-2 mutations cause the reduction of amylose contents. It was previously shown that the Wx(b) allele of rice, which is predominantly distributed in japonica rice, has a mutation in the 5' splice site of intron 1 resulting in the creation of two weak 5' splice sites within exon 1. In du-1 and du-2 mutants, spliced Wx(b) transcripts were highly reduced, whereas the processing of transcripts derived from three other genes highly expressed in endosperm was not apparently influenced. Results of competitive RT-PCR analysis indicate that transcripts spliced at the two newly created 5' splice sites were equally affected in these two mutants. Genetic and molecular analyses of the effects of du-1 and du-2 on Wx(a) pre-mRNA with normal splice sites indicate that these two mutations do not affect the processing of Wx(a) pre-mRNA after splicing, suggesting that du-1 and du-2 are mutations of genes required for the efficient splicing of mutated Wx(b) pre-mRNA. Furthermore, du-1 and du-2 showed differential effects in endosperm and pollen. Although both mutations caused similar effects on the splicing of Wx(a) transcripts in endosperm, du-1 caused higher reduction of Wx(b) mRNA in pollen than in endosperm, while du-2 had a lesser effect in pollen than in endosperm. Based on these results, we propose that the du-1 and du-2 loci of rice encode tissue-specifically regulated splicing factors that are involved in alternative splicing of pre-mRNA in rice.

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing*
  • Amylose / metabolism
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Western
  • Introns
  • Mutation
  • Oryza / genetics*
  • Oryza / metabolism
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Pollen / metabolism
  • RNA Precursors / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Seeds / metabolism
  • Starch Synthase / genetics*
  • Starch Synthase / metabolism


  • Plant Proteins
  • RNA Precursors
  • RNA, Messenger
  • waxy protein, plant
  • Amylose
  • Starch Synthase