An efficient method for dispersing Ds elements in the barley genome as a tool for determining gene function

Thomas Koprek, David McElroy, Jeanine Louwerse, Rosalind Williams-Carrier, Peggy G. Lemaux

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    115 Citations (Scopus)


    To devise a method for function-based gene isolation and characterization in barley, we created a plasmid containing the maize Activator (Ac) transposase (AcTPase) gene and a negative selection gene, codA, and a plasmid containing Dissociation (Ds) inverted-repeat ends surrounding the selectable herbicide resistance gene, bar. These plasmids were used to stably transform barley (Hordeum vulgare). In vitro assays, utilizing a Ds-interrupted uidA reporter gene, were used to demonstrate high-frequency excisions of Ds when the uidA construct was introduced transiently into stably transformed. AcTPase-expressing plant tissue. Crosses were made between stably transformed plants expressing functional transposase under the transcriptional control of either the putative AcTPase promoter or the promoter and first intron from the maize ubiquitin (Ubi1) gene, and plants containing Ds-Ubi-bar. In F1 plants from these crosses, low somatic and germinal transposition frequencies were observed; however, in F2 progeny derived from individual selfed F1 plants, up to 47% of the plants showed evidence of Ds transposition. Further analyses of F3 plants showed that approximately 75% of the transposed Ds elements reinserted into linked locations and 25% into unlinked locations. Transposed Ds elements in plants lacking the AcTPase transposase gene could be reactivated by reintroducing the transposase gene through classical genetic crossing, making this system functional for targeted gene tagging and studies of gene function. During the analysis of F3 plants we observed two mutant phenotypes in which the transposed Ds elements co-segregate with the new phenotype, suggesting the additional utility of such a system for tagging genes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)253-263
    Number of pages11
    JournalThe Plant Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2000


    • Ac transposase
    • Barley
    • Ds-transposition
    • Functional genomics
    • Gene tagging
    • Insertional mutagen


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