Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 116, Issue 7, pp 979–989 | Cite as

Allelic diversification at the wx locus in landraces of Asian rice

  • I. MikamiEmail author
  • N. Uwatoko
  • Y. Ikeda
  • J. Yamaguchi
  • H. Y. Hirano
  • Y. Suzuki
  • Y. Sano
Original Paper


To examine continuous variation of amylose levels in Asian rice (Oryza sativa) landraces, the five putative alleles (Wx a , Wx in , Wx b , Wx op , and wx) at the wx locus were investigated in near-isogenic lines (NILs). Apparent amylose levels ranged from 0.5 to 29.9% in the NILs, showing a positive relation with the levels of Wx gene product, granule-bound starch synthase (GBSS) as well as the enzymatic activity per milligram starch granule. Only opaque (Wx op ) accessions had an enzymatic activity per GBSS that was reduced to half the level of the others. Nucleotide sequences in the Wx gene were compared among 18 accessions harboring the five different alleles. Each of the Wx alleles had a unique replacement, frame-shift or splice donor site mutation, suggesting that these nucleotide changes could be reflected in phenotype alterations. A molecular phylogenetic tree constructed using the Wx gene indicated that ssp. japonica forms a distinct clade, whereas ssp. indica forms different clades together with the wild progenitor. Unexpectedly, the wx allele of 160 (indica from Taiwan) joined the japonica lineage; however, comparisons using linked genes for two Taiwanese accessions revealed that the wx gene was the product of gene flow from japonica to indica. Therefore, the japonica lineage frequently included Wx in , Wx b and wx, while Wx a and Wx op were found in the other lineages, strongly suggesting that allelic diversification occurred after divergence of the two subspecies. The present results were discussed in relation to the maintenance of agronomically valuable genes in various landraces.


Amylose Amylose Content Tropical Japonica Temperate Japonica Japonica Accession 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was supported by a research fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). We thank Dr. G.S. Khush for providing the seed samples.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Mikami
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • N. Uwatoko
    • 1
  • Y. Ikeda
    • 1
  • J. Yamaguchi
    • 1
  • H. Y. Hirano
    • 3
  • Y. Suzuki
    • 4
  • Y. Sano
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of AgricultureHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  2. 2.National Food Research InstituteTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Graduate School of ScienceUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan
  4. 4.National Institute of Crop ScienceTsukubaJapan

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