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Tagging and Cloning of a Petunia Flower Color Gene with the Maize Transposable Element Activator.

  • G Chuck
  • T Robbins
  • C Nijjar
  • E Ralston
  • N Courtney-Gutterson
  • HK Dooner
Publication Date
Apr 01, 1993


We report here the use of the maize transposable element Activator (Ac) to isolate a dicot gene. Ac was introduced into petunia, where it transposed into Ph6, one of several genes that modify anthocyanin pigmentation in flowers by affecting the pH of the corolla. Like other Ac-mutable alleles, the new mutation is unstable and reverts to a functional form in somatic and germinal tissues. The mutant gene was cloned using Ac as a probe, demonstrating the feasibility of heterologous transposon tagging in higher plants. Confirmation that the cloned DNA fragment corresponded to the mutated gene was obtained from an analysis of revertants. In every case examined, reversion to the wild-type phenotype was correlated with restoration of a wild-type-sized DNA fragment. New transposed Acs were detected in many of the revertants. As in maize, the frequency of somatic and germinal excision of Ac from the mutable allele appears to be dependent on genetic background.

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