Critical roles of DNA demethylation in the activation of ripening-induced genes and inhibition of ripening-repressed genes in tomato fruit [Plant Biology]
DNA methylation is a conserved epigenetic mark important for genome integrity, development, and environmental responses in plants and mammals. Active DNA demethylation in plants is initiated by a family of 5-mC DNA glycosylases/lyases (i.e., DNA demethylases). Recent reports suggested a role of active DNA demethylation in fruit ripening in tomato. In this study, we generated loss-of-function mutant alleles of a tomato gene, SlDML2, which is a close homolog of the Arabidopsis DNA demethylase gene ROS1. In the fruits of the tomato mutants, increased DNA methylation was found in thousands of genes. These genes included not only hundreds of ripening-induced genes but also many ripening-repressed genes. Our results show that SlDML2 is critical for tomato fruit ripening and suggest that active DNA demethylation is required for both the activation of ripening-induced genes and the inhibition of ripening-repressed genes.
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