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Kiddo, a new transposable element family closely associated with rice genes

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The promoter region of the rice ubiquitin2 (rubq2) gene was found to be polymorphic between japonica (T309) and indica (IR24) lines as the result of a 270-bp deletion in T309. A TTATA footprint in the T309 rubq2 promoter suggested that an excision event had occurred, and inspection of the 270-bp region present in IR24 revealed that it had all the characteristics of a miniature inverted repeat transposable element (MITE). Database searches showed that this element is a member of a new MITE family, which we have named Kiddo. Thirty-five complete Kiddo sequences were identified in existing rice genomic sequence databases. They could be arranged into four groups, within-group sequence identity was over 90%, with 65–75% identity between groups. The high sequence similarity within a group indicates that some Kiddo members were recently mobile and may still be active. An additional 24 decayed Kiddo sequences were detected. Interestingly, ~80% of 18 Kiddo members from annotated accessions lie within 530 bp of a coding sequence. That ~40% of Kiddo members present in genic regions reside in introns suggests that Kiddo transposition entails the use of both DNA and RNA intermediates, and may provide some insight into the origins of individual groups. DNA blot analysis showed that Kiddo is a rice-specific element, although one sequence with limited (72%) similarity to Kiddo group A was detected as a wheat EST. Kiddo family members may represent new molecular and phylogenetic markers, as well as representing valuable materials for studying the molecular mechanisms of MITE transposition.

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Yang, .G., Dong, .J., Chandrasekharan, .M. et al. Kiddo, a new transposable element family closely associated with rice genes. Mol Gen Genomics 266, 417–424 (2001).

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