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Active DNA demethylation in plant companion cells reinforces transposon methylation in gametes


Ibarra, Christian A; Feng, Xiaoqi; Schoft, Vera K; Hsieh, Tzung-Fu; Uzawa, Rie; Rodrigues, Jessica A; Zemach, Assaf; Chumak, Nina; Machlicova, Adriana; Nishimura, Toshiro; Rojas, Denisse; Fischer, Robert L; Tamaru, Hisashi; Zilberman, Daniel (2012). Active DNA demethylation in plant companion cells reinforces transposon methylation in gametes. Science, 337(6100):1360-1364.

Abstract

The Arabidopsis thaliana central cell, the companion cell of the egg, undergoes DNA demethylation before fertilization, but the targeting preferences, mechanism, and biological significance of this process remain unclear. Here, we show that active DNA demethylation mediated by the DEMETER DNA glycosylase accounts for all of the demethylation in the central cell and preferentially targets small, AT-rich, and nucleosome-depleted euchromatic transposable elements. The vegetative cell, the companion cell of sperm, also undergoes DEMETER-dependent demethylation of similar sequences, and lack of DEMETER in vegetative cells causes reduced small RNA-directed DNA methylation of transposons in sperm. Our results demonstrate that demethylation in companion cells reinforces transposon methylation in plant gametes and likely contributes to stable silencing of transposable elements across generations.

Abstract

The Arabidopsis thaliana central cell, the companion cell of the egg, undergoes DNA demethylation before fertilization, but the targeting preferences, mechanism, and biological significance of this process remain unclear. Here, we show that active DNA demethylation mediated by the DEMETER DNA glycosylase accounts for all of the demethylation in the central cell and preferentially targets small, AT-rich, and nucleosome-depleted euchromatic transposable elements. The vegetative cell, the companion cell of sperm, also undergoes DEMETER-dependent demethylation of similar sequences, and lack of DEMETER in vegetative cells causes reduced small RNA-directed DNA methylation of transposons in sperm. Our results demonstrate that demethylation in companion cells reinforces transposon methylation in plant gametes and likely contributes to stable silencing of transposable elements across generations.

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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:2012
Deposited On:22 Feb 2013 12:28
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:32
Publisher:American Association for the Advancement of Science
ISSN:0036-8075
Additional Information:This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of the AAAS for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Science VOL 337(6100), 2012, 10.1126/science.1224839
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1224839
PubMed ID:22984074

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