3 years ago

A naturally occurring epiallele associates with leaf senescence and local climate adaptation in Arabidopsis accessions

A naturally occurring epiallele associates with leaf senescence and local climate adaptation in Arabidopsis accessions
Renyi Liu, Wenwu Wu, Li He, Dong Wang, Huiming Zhang, Gaurav Zinta, Zhimin Zheng, Qingzhu Zhang, Jian-Kang Zhu, Lan Yang, Huan Huang
Epigenetic variation has been proposed to facilitate adaptation to changing environments, but evidence that natural epialleles contribute to adaptive evolution has been lacking. Here we identify a retrotransposon, named “NMR19” (naturally occurring DNA methylation variation region 19), whose methylation and genomic location vary among Arabidopsis thaliana accessions. We classify NMR19 as NMR19-4 and NMR19-16 based on its location, and uncover NMR19-4 as an epiallele that controls leaf senescence by regulating the expression of PHEOPHYTIN PHEOPHORBIDE HYDROLASE (PPH). We find that the DNA methylation status of NMR19-4 is stably inherited and independent of genetic variation. In addition, further analysis indicates that DNA methylation of NMR19-4 correlates with local climates, implying that NMR19-4 is an environmentally associated epiallele. In summary, we discover a novel epiallele, and provide mechanistic insights into its origin and potential function in local climate adaptation.

Publisher URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-02839-3

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-02839-3

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