Insertional mutagenesis of legume genomes such as soybean (Glycine max) should aid in identifying genes responsible for key traits such as nitrogen fixation and seed quality. The relatively low throughput of soybean transformation necessitates the use of a transposon-tagging strategy where a single transformation event will produce many mutations over a number of generations. However, existing transposon-tagging tools being used in legumes are of limited utility because of restricted transposition (Ac/Ds: soybean) or the requirement for tissue culture activation (Tnt1: Medicago truncatula). A recently discovered transposable element from rice (Oryza sativa), mPing, and the genes required for its mobilization, were transferred to soybean to determine if it will be an improvement over the other available transposon-tagging tools. Stable transformation events in soybean were tested for mPing transposition. Analysis of mPing excision at early and late embryo developmental stages revealed increased excision during late development in most transgenic lines, suggesting that transposition is developmentally regulated. Transgenic lines that produced heritable mPing insertions were identified, with the plants from the highest activity line producing at least one new insertion per generation. Analysis of the mPing insertion sites in the soybean genome revealed that features displayed in rice were retained including transposition to unlinked sites and a preference for insertion within 2.5 kb of a gene. Taken together these findings indicate that mPing has the characteristics necessary for an effective transposon-tagging resource.
Published in Plant Physiology, Volume 157, 2011, pages 552-562.
© 2011 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.