A mutable albino allele in rice reveals that formation of thylakoid membranes requires the SNOW-WHITE LEAF1 gene

Mika Hayashi-Tsugane, Hiroyuki Takahara, Nisar Ahmed, Eiko Himi, Kyoko Takagi, Shigeru Iida, Kazuo Tsugane, Masahiko Maekawa

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    23 Citations (Scopus)


    Active DNA transposons are important tools for gene functional analysis. The endogenous non-autonomous transposon, nDart1-0, in rice (Oryza sativa L.) is expected to generate various transposon-insertion mutants because nDart1-0 elements tend to insert into genic regions under natural growth conditions. We have developed a specific method (nDart1-0-iPCR) for efficient detection of nDart1-0 insertions and successfully identified the SNOW-WHITE LEAF1 (SWL1) gene in a variegated albino (swl1-v) mutant obtained from the nDart1-promoted rice tagging line. The variegated albino phenotype was caused by insertion and excision of nDart1-0 in the 5′-untranslated region of the SWL1 gene predicted to encode an unknown protein with the N-terminal chloroplast transit peptide. SWL1 expression was detected in various rice tissues at different developmental stages. However, immunoblot analysis indicated that SWL1 protein accumulation was strictly regulated in a tissue-specific manner. In the swl1 mutant, formations of grana and stroma thylakoids and prolamellar bodies were inhibited. This study revealed that SWL1 is essential for the beginning of thylakoid membrane organization during chloroplast development. Furthermore, we provide a developmental perspective on the nDart1-promoted tagging line to characterize unidentified gene functions in rice.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3-15
    Number of pages13
    JournalPlant and Cell Physiology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


    • DNA transposon
    • Gene tagging
    • Oryza sativa
    • Plastid development
    • Variegated leaf
    • iPCR

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physiology
    • Plant Science
    • Cell Biology


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