Identification of differentially methylated regions during vernalization revealed a role for RNA methyltransferases in bolting
Hebrard, Claire; Trap-Gentil, Marie-Veronique; Lafon-Placette, Clement; Delaunay, Alain; Joseph, Claude; Lefebvre, Marc; Barnes, Steve; Maury, Stephane
Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris altissima) is a biennial root crop with an absolute requirement for cold exposure to bolt and flower, a process called vernalization. Global DNA methylation variations have been reported during vernalization in several plants. However, few genes targeted by DNA methylation during vernalization have been described. The objectives of this study were to identify differentially methylated regions and to study their involvement in bolting induction and tolerance. Restriction landmark genome scanning was applied to DNA from shoot apical meristems of sugar beet genotypes, providing a direct quantitative epigenetic assessment of several CG methylated genes without prior knowledge of gene sequence. Several differentially methylated regions exhibiting variations of gene-body DNA methylation and expression during cold exposure and/or between genotypes were identified, including an AROGENATE DEHYDRATASE and two RNA METHYLCYTOSINE TRANSFERASE sequences. One RNA METHYLCYTOSINE TRANSFERASE sequence displayed gene-body hypermethylation and activation of expression, while the other was hypomethylated and inhibited by cold exposure. Global RNA methylation and phenolic compound levels changed during cold exposure in a genotype-dependent way. The use of methyl RNA immunoprecipitation of total RNA and reverse transcriptionPCR analysis revealed mRNA methylation in a vernalized bolting-resistant genotype for the FLOWERING LOCUS 1 gene, a repressor of flowering. Finally, Arabidopsis mutants for RNA METHYLCYTOSINE TRANSFERASE and AROGENATE DEHYDRATASE were shown to exhibit, under different environmental conditions, early or late bolting phenotypes, respectively. Overall, the data identified functional targets of DNA methylation during vernalization in sugar beet, and it is proposed that RNA methylation and phenolic compounds play a role in the floral transition.
Arabidopsis thaliana mutant; bolting tolerance; differentially methylated region; DNA methylation; epigenetic; RNA methylation; sugar beet; vernalization
Journal of Experimental Botany
2013, Volume: 64, number: 2, pages: 651-663
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