Mobilized retrotransposon Tos17 of rice by alien DNA introgression transposes into genes and causes structural and methylation alterations of a flanking genomic region

Hereditas. 2004;141(3):243-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-5223.2004.01808.x.


Tos17 is a copia-like endogenous retrotransposon of rice, which can be activated by various stresses such as tissue culture and alien DNA introgression. To confirm element mobilization by introgression and to study possible structural and epigenetic effects of Tos17 insertion on its target sequences, we isolated all flanking regions of Tos17 in an introgressed rice line (Tong35) that contains minute amount of genomic DNA from wild rice (Zizania latifolia). It was found that there has been apparent but limited mobilization of Tos17 in this introgression line, as being reflected by increased but stable copy number of the element in progeny of the line. Three of the five activated copies of the element have transposed into genes. Based on sequence analysis and Southern blot hybridization with several double-enzyme digests, no structural change in Tos17 could be inferred in the introgression line. Cytosine methylation status at all seven CCGG sites within Tos17 was also identical between the introgression line and its rice parent (Matsumae)-all sites being heavily methylated. In contrast, changes in structure and cytosine methylation patterns were detected in one of the three low-copy genomic regions that flank newly transposed Tos17, and all changes are stably inherited through selfed generations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3' Flanking Region / genetics
  • 5' Flanking Region / genetics
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Cytosine / chemistry
  • DNA Methylation*
  • DNA, Plant / chemistry
  • DNA, Plant / genetics*
  • Genome, Plant
  • Oryza / genetics*
  • Retroelements / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • DNA, Plant
  • Retroelements
  • Cytosine