The wp mutation of Glycine max carries a gene-fragment-rich transposon of the CACTA superfamily

Gracia Zabala, Lila O. Vodkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We used soybean (Glycine max) cDNA microarrays to identify candidate genes for a stable mutation at the Wp locus in soybean, which changed a purple-flowered phenotype to pink, and found that flavanone 3-hydroxylase cDNAs were overexpressed in purple flower buds relative to the pink. Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and RNA gel blots of purple and pink flower isolines, as well as the presence of a 5.7-kb transposon insertion in the wp mutant allele, have unequivocally shown that flavanone 3-hydroxylase gene 1 is the Wp locus. Moreover, the 5.7-kb insertion in wp represents a novel transposable element (termed Tgm-Express1) with inverted repeats closely related to those of other Tgms (transposable-like elements, G. max) but distinct in several characteristics, including the lack of subterminal inverted repeats. More significantly, Tgm-Express1 contains four truncated cellular genes from the soybean genome, resembling the Pack-MULEs (Mutator-like transposable elements) found in maize (Zea mays), rice (Oryza sativa), and Arabidopsis thaliana and the Helitrons of maize. The presence of the Tgm-Express1 element causing the wp mutation, as well as a second Tgm-Express2 element elsewhere in the soybean genome, extends the ability to acquire and transport host DNA segments to the CACTA family of elements, which includes both Tgm and the prototypical maize Spm/En.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2619-2632
Number of pages14
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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