Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Transgenerational effect of mutants in the RNA-directed DNA methylation pathway on the triploid block in Arabidopsis

Wang, Zhenxing; Butel, Nicolas; Santos-Gonzalez, Juan; Simon, Lauriane; Waerdig, Cecilia; Koehler, Claudia

Abstract

BackgroundHybridization of plants that differ in number of chromosome sets (ploidy) frequently causes endosperm failure and seed arrest, a phenomenon referred to as triploid block. In Arabidopsis, loss of function of NRPD1, encoding the largest subunit of the plant-specific RNA polymerase IV (Pol IV), can suppress the triploid block. Pol IV generates short RNAs required to guide de novo methylation in the RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) pathway. Recent work suggests that suppression of the triploid block by mutants in RdDM components differs, depending on whether the diploid pollen is derived from tetraploid plants or from the omission in second division 1 (osd1) mutant. This study aims to understand this difference.ResultsIn this study, we find that the ability of mutants in the RdDM pathway to suppress the triploid block depends on their degree of inbreeding. While first homozygous generation mutants in RdDM components NRPD1, RDR2, NRPE1, and DRM2 have weak or no ability to rescue the triploid block, they are able to suppress the triploid block with successive generations of inbreeding. Inbreeding of nrpd1 was connected with a transgenerational loss of non-CG DNA methylation on sites jointly regulated by CHROMOMETHYLASES 2 and 3.ConclusionsOur data reveal that loss of RdDM function differs in its effect in early and late generations, which has important implications when interpreting the effect of RdDM mutants.

Published in

Genome Biology
2021, Volume: 22, number: 1, article number: 141Publisher: BMC