DNA polymorphism of the Wx gene in glutinous rice cultivars was investigated by PCR-RF-SSCP and heteroduplex cleavage analysis using Brassica petiole extract, and the nucleotide sequence variations were identified. Most japonica-type glutinous rice was found to have a 23-bp duplication in the second exon, which causes loss of the function of granule-bound starch synthase (GBSS) encoded by the Wx gene. Without the 23-bp duplication, there was an insertion of 7,764 bp in the ninth exon of the wx allele of 'Oragamochi'. Expression analysis of the wx allele using RT-PCR and Northern blot analysis revealed that transcripts of the 'Oragamochi' wx allele are about 1-kb shorter and that the deduced amino acid sequence of the transcript lacks a motif important for GBSS. Therefore, this insertion was considered to be the cause of the glutinous trait of 'Oragamochi'. This 7,764-bp insertion had long terminal repeats, a primer binding site, and a polypurine tract, but no sequence homologous with gag and pol, suggesting that it is a non-autonomous element. Furthermore, it had a structure similar to Dasheng and may be a member of Dasheng.
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