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Non-random chromosome arrangement in triploid endosperm nuclei


Baroux, Célia; Pecinka, Ales; Fuchs, Jörg; Kreth, Gregor; Schubert, Ingo; Grossniklaus, Ueli (2017). Non-random chromosome arrangement in triploid endosperm nuclei. Chromosoma, 126(1):115-124.

Abstract

The endosperm is at the center of successful seed formation in flowering plants. Being itself a product of fertilization, it is devoted to nourish the developing embryo and typically possesses a triploid genome consisting of two maternal and one paternal genome complement. Interestingly, endosperm development is controlled by epigenetic mechanisms conferring parent-of-origin-dependent effects that influence seed development. In the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, we have previously described an endosperm-specific heterochromatin fraction, which increases with higher maternal, but not paternal, genome dosage. Here, we report a detailed analysis of chromosomal arrangement and association frequency in endosperm nuclei. We found that centromeric FISH signals in isolated nuclei show a planar alignment that may results from a semi-rigid, connective structure between chromosomes. Importantly, we found frequent pairwise association of centromeres, chromosomal segments, and entire arms of chromosomes in 3C endosperm nuclei. These associations deviate from random expectations predicted by numerical simulations. Therefore, we suggest a non-random chromosomal organization in the triploid nuclei of Arabidopsis endosperm. This contrasts with the prevailing random arrangement of chromosome territories in somatic nuclei. Based on observations on a series of nuclei with varying parental genome ratios, we propose a model where chromosomes associate pairwise involving one maternal and one paternal complement. The functional implications of this predicted chromosomal arrangement are discussed.

Abstract

The endosperm is at the center of successful seed formation in flowering plants. Being itself a product of fertilization, it is devoted to nourish the developing embryo and typically possesses a triploid genome consisting of two maternal and one paternal genome complement. Interestingly, endosperm development is controlled by epigenetic mechanisms conferring parent-of-origin-dependent effects that influence seed development. In the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, we have previously described an endosperm-specific heterochromatin fraction, which increases with higher maternal, but not paternal, genome dosage. Here, we report a detailed analysis of chromosomal arrangement and association frequency in endosperm nuclei. We found that centromeric FISH signals in isolated nuclei show a planar alignment that may results from a semi-rigid, connective structure between chromosomes. Importantly, we found frequent pairwise association of centromeres, chromosomal segments, and entire arms of chromosomes in 3C endosperm nuclei. These associations deviate from random expectations predicted by numerical simulations. Therefore, we suggest a non-random chromosomal organization in the triploid nuclei of Arabidopsis endosperm. This contrasts with the prevailing random arrangement of chromosome territories in somatic nuclei. Based on observations on a series of nuclei with varying parental genome ratios, we propose a model where chromosomes associate pairwise involving one maternal and one paternal complement. The functional implications of this predicted chromosomal arrangement are discussed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
07 Faculty of Science > Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:30 Jan 2017 16:49
Last Modified:01 Feb 2017 02:03
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0009-5915
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00412-016-0578-5
PubMed ID:26892012

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Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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