Palindromic repeated sequences (PRSs) are distributed in at least ten regions of the mitochondrial (mt) genome of rice and are, apparently, mobile. In the present study, we examined the possibility of homologous recombination via some PRSs during the course of evolution of Oryza. We first performed Southern hybridization of the DNA from 11 species (18 strains) of Oryza in order to identify the distribution of PRSs in the mitochondrial genome of Oryza. The hybridization patterns revealed genome type-specific and/or species-specific variations. We speculated that homologous recombination via some PRSs might have made a contribution to such variations. After subsequent polymerase chain reaction, Southern hybridization and sequencing, we concluded that homologous recombination mediated by two PRSs occurred in the mtDNA of Oryza after divergence of the BB genome type and the other genome types of Oryza. Evidence was obtained that some PRSs were involved in both insertion and recombination events during the evolution of Oryza. Our results indicate, therefore, that PRSs have contributed considerably to the polymorphism of Oryza mtDNAs.
- Homologous recombination
- Mitochondrial DNA
- Palindromic repeated sequences