Two-step regulation and continuous retrotransposition of the rice LINE-type retrotransposon Karma

Mai Komatsu, Ko Shimamoto, Junko Kyozuka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


Here, we report the identification of Karma, a LINE-type retrotransposon of plants for which continuous retrotransposition was observed in consecutive generations. The transcription of Karma is activated in cultured cells of rice upon DNA hypomethylation. However, transcription is insufficient for retrotransposition, because no increase in the copy number was observed in cultured cells or in the first generation of plants regenerated from them. Despite that finding, copy number increase was detected in the next generation of regenerated plants as well as in later generations, suggesting that the posttranscriptional regulation of Karma retrotransposition is development dependent. Our results indicate that two different mechanisms, one transcriptional and the other developmental, control the mobilization of Karma. In addition, unlike other known active plant retrotransposons, Karma is not subject to de novo methylation, and retrotransposition persists through several generations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1934-1944
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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