Rice qUVR-10, a quantitative trait locus (QTL) for ultraviolet-B (UVB) resistance on chromosome 10, was cloned by map-based strategy. It was detected in backcross inbred lines (BILs) derived from a cross between the japonica variety Nipponbare (UV resistant) and the indica variety Kasalath (UV sensitive). Plants homozygous for the Nipponbare allele at the qUVR-10 locus were more resistant to UVB compared with the Kasalath allele. High-resolution mapping using 1850 F2 plants enabled us to delimit qUVR-10 to a >27-kb genomic region. We identified a gene encoding the cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) photolyase in this region. Activity of CPD photorepair in Nipponbare was higher than that of Kasalath and nearly isogenic with qUVR-10 [NIL(qUVR-10)], suggesting that the CPD photolyase of Kasalath was defective. We introduced a genomic fragment containing the CPD photolyase gene of Nipponbare to NIL(qUVR-10). Transgenic plants showed the same level of resistance as Nipponbare did, indicating that the qUVR-10 encoded the CPD photolyase. Comparison of the qUVR-10 sequence in the Nipponbare and Kasalath alleles revealed one probable candidate for the functional nucleotide polymorphism. It was indicated that single-base substitution in the CPD photolyase gene caused the alteration of activity of CPD photorepair and UVB resistance. Furthermore, we were able to develop a UV-hyperresistant plant by overexpression of the photolyase gene.
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