Molecular and General Genetics MGG

, Volume 248, Issue 3, pp 364–369 | Cite as

Double-stranded RNA in rice: A novel RNA replicon in plants

  • Hiromitsu Moriyama
  • Takeshi Nitta
  • Toshiyuki Fukuhara
Original Paper


The entire sequence of 13952 nucleotides of a plasmid-like, double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) from rice was assembled from more than 50 independent cDNA clones. The 5′ non-coding region of the coding (sense) strand spans over 166 nucleotides, followed by one long open reading frame (ORF) of 13716 nucleotides that encodes a large putative polyprotein of 4572 amino acid residues, and by a 70-nucleotide 3′ noncoding region. This ORF is apparently the longest reported to date in the plant kingdom. Amino acid sequence comparisons revealed that the large putative polyprotein includes an RNA helicase-like domain and an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (replicase)-like domain. Comparisons of the amino acid sequences of these two domains and of the entire genetic organization of the rice dsRNA with those found in potyviruses and the CHV1-713 dsRNA of chestnut blight fungus suggest that the rice dsRNA is located evolutionarily between potyviruses and the CHV1-713 dsRNA. This plasmid-like dsRNA in rice seems to constitute a novel RNA replicon in plants.

Key words

Double-stranded RNA Plasmid-like RNA Rice RNA helicase RNA-dependent RNA polymerase 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiromitsu Moriyama
    • 1
  • Takeshi Nitta
    • 1
  • Toshiyuki Fukuhara
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology, Faculty of AgricultureTokyo University of Agriculture and TechnologyFuchu, TokyoJapan

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