Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 131, Issue 2, pp 203–210 | Cite as

A transposition-active Phyllostachys edulis long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposon

  • Mingbing Zhou
  • Linlin Liang
  • Heikki Hänninen
Regular Paper


Due to infrequent sexual reproduction, moso bamboo breeding by hybridization is extremely technically difficult. Insertional mutagenesis based on endogenous active transposons may thus serve as an alternative method to create new germplasm of moso bamboo. In the present study, using LTR-STRUC, a full-length intact long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposon was identified in the moso bamboo genome and was named PHRE2 (Phyllostachys edulis retrotransposon 2). The 5′ and 3′ LTR sequences of PHRE2 were highly (98.39%) similar. PHRE2 contains all domains necessary for transposition such as gag, pr, rt, rh, and int. The coding frames of these essential domains were complete and had no apparent mutations. In addition, PHRE2 possessed a prime binding site (PBS), a polypurine tract (PPT), and two typical sequences of LTR retrotransposons. A genome-wide scan showed that the moso bamboo genome has only one full-length sequence of PHYRE2. After its transfer to Arabidopsis thaliana, an increase in PHRE2 copy number occurred in the T3 plants compared to in the T2 plants. After moso bamboo seedlings were grown in tissue culture or treated by irradiation or plant hormones, the copy number of PHRE2 significantly increased. These findings indicate that PHRE2 has the capacity for transposition, which can be induced by environmental conditions.


Long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons Moso bamboo [Phyllostachys edulis (Carrière) J. Houz] Arabidopsis Transposition activation 



The National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 31470615 and 31270645) and the Talents Program of Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province (Grant No. LR12C16001) supported this study.

Author contributions

M. B. Zhou designated the experiments, identified PHRE2, constructed the vectors, and wrote the paper; L. L. Liang estimated the copy number of PHRE2 and performed Arabidopsis transformation; H. Hänninen revised and edited the paper; all authors read and approved the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None declared.

Supplementary material

10265_2017_983_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 1689 KB)


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan KK 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mingbing Zhou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Linlin Liang
    • 1
  • Heikki Hänninen
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Subtropical SilvicultureZhejiang A & F UniversityLinanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Zhejiang Provincial Collaborative Innovation Center for Bamboo Resources and High-efficiency UtilizationZhejiang A & F UniversityLinanPeople’s Republic of China

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