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An active hAT transposable element causing bud mutation of carnation by insertion into the flavonoid 3′-hydroxylase gene

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The molecular mechanisms underlying spontaneous bud mutations, which provide an important breeding tool in carnation, are poorly understood. Here we describe a new active hAT type transposable element, designated Tdic101, the movement of which caused a bud mutation in carnation that led to a change of flower color from purple to deep pink. The color change was attributed to Tdic101 insertion into the second intron of F3′H, the gene for flavonoid 3′-hydroxylase responsible for purple pigment production. Regions on the deep pink flowers of the mutant can revert to purple, a visible phenotype of, as we show, excision of the transposable element. Sequence analysis revealed that Tdic101 has the characteristics of an autonomous element encoding a transposase. A related, but non-autonomous element dTdic102 was found to move in the genome of the bud mutant as well. Its mobilization might be the result of transposase activities provided by other elements such as Tdic101. In carnation, therefore, the movement of transposable elements plays an important role in the emergence of a bud mutation.

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We thank to Takayasu Hirosawa, Hiroshi Okawa and Noboru Onishi for helpful discussions. This work was partly supported by a grant from the “Technical Development Program for Making Agribusiness in the Form of Utilizing the Concentrated Know-how from the Private Sector” of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries JAPAN.

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Correspondence to Masaki Momose.

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Communicated by M.-A. Grandbastien.

Yoshio Itoh: deceased.

Nucleotide sequence data reported are deposited in the DDBJ database under the accession numbers AB731559, AB731560, AB731561 and AB731562.

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Momose, M., Nakayama, M., Itoh, Y. et al. An active hAT transposable element causing bud mutation of carnation by insertion into the flavonoid 3′-hydroxylase gene. Mol Genet Genomics 288, 175–184 (2013).

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