Genetic variations in rice in vitro cultures at the EPSPs-RPS20 region

Theor Appl Genet. 2007 Feb;114(4):705-11. doi: 10.1007/s00122-006-0470-4. Epub 2006 Dec 20.


In vitro cultures of plant cells have often been utilized to generate genetic variations, which are designated somaclonal variations. Little is known about the major genetic alterations in the cultured cells and the nature of these genetic changes. Here, we examined different lines of rice Oc cells that have been cultured for more than 20 years on agar media or in liquid media. We surveyed 35 clones obtained from PCR amplification of the 3-kb EPSPs-RPS20 region. The sequence divergence among the Oc cells was even greater than that between Japonica and Indica rice cultivars. The divergent sequences appeared to be maintained as multiple copies in a single cell. Surprisingly, the nucleotide substitutions in the Oc cells were characterized by an extremely high frequency of transition mutations of A/T-to-G/C, a feature which is similar to that of the mutations caused by chemical mutagens such as 5-bromouracil and 2-aminopurine. Although no replacements in the exons of this region were observed among the AA-genome Oryza species, our results revealed that the nucleotide substitutions of the cultured cell lines occurred more frequently at replacement sites in the exons than at synonymous sites. These distinct mutation biases found in rice in vitro cultures might contribute importantly to somaclonal variations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Primers
  • Genes, Plant / genetics*
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Oryza / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Species Specificity


  • DNA Primers