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Imprinting of the polycomb group gene MEDEA serves as a ploidy sensor in Arabidopsis.

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journal contribution
posted on 24.10.2012, 09:13 by A. Erilova, Lynette Brownfield, V. Exner, M. Rosa, David Twell, Mittelsten Scheid O., L. Hennig, C. Köhler
Balanced maternal and paternal genome contributions are a requirement for successful seed development. Unbalanced contributions often cause seed abortion, a phenomenon that has been termed "triploid block." Misregulation of imprinted regulatory genes has been proposed to be the underlying cause for abnormalities in growth and structure of the endosperm in seeds with deviating parental contributions. We identified a mutant forming unreduced pollen that enabled us to investigate direct effects of unbalanced parental genome contributions on seed development and to reveal the underlying molecular mechanism of dosage sensitivity. We provide evidence that parent-of-origin-specific expression of the Polycomb group (PcG) gene MEDEA is causally responsible for seed developmental aberrations in Arabidopsis seeds with increased paternal genome contributions. We propose that imprinted expression of PcG genes is an evolutionary conserved mechanism to balance parental genome contributions in embryo nourishing tissues.

Funding

This research was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (http://www.snf.ch/D/Seiten/default.aspx) to CK (PP00A 106684/1) and LH (3100AO-116060). LB is supported by a fellowship of EMBO (http://www.embo.org).

History

Citation

PLoS Genetics, 2009, 5 (9), pp. e1000663-e1000663

Published in

PLoS Genetics

Publisher

Public Library of Science

issn

1553-7390

eissn

1553-7404

Copyright date

2009

Available date

24/10/2012

Publisher version

http://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1000663

Notes

Competing interests: European patent EP09008196 “Polyploid plants” was deposited by ETH on June 23rd, 2009.

Language

eng