Imprinting of the polycomb group gene MEDEA serves as a ploidy sensor in Arabidopsis.
journal contributionposted 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.
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).
CitationPLoS Genetics, 2009, 5 (9), pp. e1000663-e1000663
Published inPLoS Genetics
PublisherPublic Library of Science
NotesCompeting interests: European patent EP09008196 “Polyploid plants” was deposited by ETH on June 23rd, 2009.
AllelesAmino Acid SequenceArabidopsisArabidopsis ProteinsCrossesGeneticDiploidyGene Expression ProfilingGene Expression RegulationPlantGenesGenetic Complementation TestGenomic ImprintingHomozygoteMADS Domain ProteinsMolecular Sequence DataMutationPhenotypePloidiesPollenRNAMessengerRepressor ProteinsSeeds