Laser Irradiation-Induced DNA Methylation Changes Are Heritable and Accompanied with Transpositional Activation of mPing in Rice
Heavy-ion beams are widely used for mutation breeding and molecular biology. Although the mutagenic effects of heavy-ion beam irradiation have been characterized by sequence analysis of some restricted chromosomal regions or loci, there have been no evaluations at the whole-genome level or of the detailed genomic rearrangements in the mutant genomes. In this study, using array comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH) and resequencing, we comprehensively characterized the mutations in Arabidopsis thaliana genomes irradiated with Ar or Fe ions. We subsequently used this information to investigate the mutagenic effects of the heavy-ion beams. Array-CGH demonstrated that the average number of deleted areas per genome were 1.9 and 3.7 following Ar-ion and Fe-ion irradiation, respectively, with deletion sizes ranging from 149 to 602,180 bp; 81% of the deletions were accompanied by genomic rearrangements. To provide a further detailed analysis, the genomes of the mutants induced by Ar-ion beam irradiation were resequenced, and total mutations, including base substitutions, duplications, in/dels, inversions, and translocations, were detected using three algorithms. All three resequenced mutants had genomic rearrangements. Of the 22 DNA fragments that contributed to the rearrangements, 19 fragments were responsible for the intrachromosomal rearrangements, and multiple rearrangements were formed in the localized regions of the chromosomes. The interchromosomal rearrangements were detected in the multiply rearranged regions. These results indicate that the heavy-ion beams led to clustered DNA damage in the chromosome, and that they have great potential to induce complicated intrachromosomal rearrangements. Heavy-ion beams will prove useful as unique mutagens for plant breeding and the establishment of mutant lines.