Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 132, Issue 12, pp 3347–3355 | Cite as

Transgenerational activation of an autonomous DNA transposon, Dart1-24, by 5-azaC treatment in rice

  • Hideki Nishimura
  • Eiko Himi
  • Chang-Ho Eun
  • Hidekazu Takahashi
  • Qian Qian
  • Kazuo TsuganeEmail author
  • Masahiko MaekawaEmail author
Original Article


Key message

Dart1-24, one of the 37 autonomous DNA transposon Dart1s, was heritably activated by the demethylation of the 5′ region following 5-azaC treatment of rice seeds.


Transposons are controlled by epigenetic regulations. To obtain newly activated autonomous elements of Dart1, a DNA transposon, in rice, seeds of a stable pale yellow leaf (pyl-stb) mutant caused by the insertion of nDart1-0, a nonautonomous element in OsClpP5, were treated with 5-azaC, a demethylating agent. In the 5-azaC-treated M1 plants, 60–70% of the plants displayed variegated pale yellow leaf (pyl-v) phenotype, depending on the concentration of 5-azaC used, suggesting that inactivated Dart1 might become highly activated by 5-azaC treatment and nDart1-0 was excised from OsClpP5 by the activated Dart1s. Although the M2 plants derived from most of these pyl-v plants showed stable pyl phenotypes, some variegated M1 plants generated pyl-v M2 progeny. These results indicated that most M1 pyl-v phenotypes at M1 were not heritable. Dart1-24, 1-27 and 1-28 were expressed in the M2 pyl-v plants, and mapping analysis confirmed that Dart1-24 was newly activated. Further, the transgenerational activation of Dart1-24 was demonstrated to be caused by the demethylation of nucleotides in its 5′ region.


5-Azacytidine DNA transposon Autonomous element Demethylation Rice 



This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP16K07561 and the Joint Research Program implemented at the Institute of Plant Science and Resources, Okayama University in Japan (No. 2942) to K.T.), and the NIBB Cooperative Research Program (17-331 to M.M.). Some experiments were performed with equipment maintained by the Functional Genomics and Model Plant Facility, and computational resources were provided by the Data Integration and Analysis Facility, in NIBB.

Author contribution statement

NH, EH, CE, and QQ performed the experiments. HT and KT analyzed the data. KT and MM designed the experiments and wrote the manuscript. NH wrote the majority of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

122_2019_3429_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (345 kb)
Supplementary file1 (PDF 345 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hideki Nishimura
    • 1
  • Eiko Himi
    • 1
  • Chang-Ho Eun
    • 2
    • 6
  • Hidekazu Takahashi
    • 3
  • Qian Qian
    • 4
  • Kazuo Tsugane
    • 2
    • 5
    Email author
  • Masahiko Maekawa
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Plant Science and ResourcesOkayama UniversityKurashikiJapan
  2. 2.National Institute for Basic BiologyOkazakiJapan
  3. 3.Graduate School of Bioresource SciencesAkita Prefectural UniversityAkitaJapan
  4. 4.China National Rice Research InstituteHangzhouChina
  5. 5.The Graduate University for Advanced StudiesOkazakiJapan
  6. 6.Subtropical/Tropical Organism Gene BankJeju National UniversityJejuRepublic of Korea

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