Epigenetic regulation of agronomical traits in Brassicaceae
Epigenetic regulation, covalent modification of DNA and changes in histone proteins are closely linked to plant development and stress response through flexibly altering the chromatin structure to regulate gene expression. In this review, we will illustrate the importance of epigenetic influences by discussing three agriculturally important traits of Brassicaceae. (1) Vernalization, an acceleration of flowering by prolonged cold exposure regulated through epigenetic silencing of a central floral repressor, FLOWERING LOCUS C. This is associated with cold-dependent repressive histone mark accumulation, which confers competency of consequence vegetative-to-reproductive phase transition. (2) Hybrid vigor, in which an F1 hybrid shows superior performance to the parental lines. Combination of distinct epigenomes with different DNA methylation states between parental lines is important for increase in growth rate in a hybrid progeny. This is independent of siRNA-directed DNA methylation but dependent on the chromatin remodeler DDM1. (3) Self-incompatibility, a reproductive mating system to prevent self-fertilization. This is controlled by the S-locus consisting of SP11 and SRK which are responsible for self/non-self recognition. Because self-incompatibility in Brassicaceae is sporophytically controlled, there are dominance relationships between S haplotypes in the stigma and pollen. The dominance relationships in the pollen rely on de novo DNA methylation at the promoter region of a recessive allele, which is triggered by siRNA production from a flanking region of a dominant allele.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00299-017-2223-z
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