Paramutation in maize

Paramutation in maize Paramutation is a heritable change in gene expression induced by allele interactions. This review summarizes key experiments on three maize loci, which undergo paramutation. Similarities and differences between the phenomenology at the three loci are described. In spite of many differences with respect to the stability of the reduced expression states at each locus or whether paramutation correlates with DNA methylation and repeated sequences within the loci, recent experiments are consistent with a common mechanism underlying paramutation at all three loci. Most strikingly, trans-acting mutants have been isolated that prevent paramutation at all three loci and lead to the activation of silenced Mutator transposable elements. Models consistent with the hypothesis that paramutation involves heritable changes in chromatin structure are presented. Several potential roles for paramutation are discussed. These include localizing recombination to low-copy sequences within the genome, establishing and maintaining chromatin domain boundaries, and providing a mechanism for plants to transmit an environmentally influenced expression state to progeny. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Plant Molecular Biology Springer Journals
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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Life Sciences; Biochemistry, general; Plant Sciences; Plant Pathology
ISSN
0167-4412
eISSN
1573-5028
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1006499808317
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Paramutation is a heritable change in gene expression induced by allele interactions. This review summarizes key experiments on three maize loci, which undergo paramutation. Similarities and differences between the phenomenology at the three loci are described. In spite of many differences with respect to the stability of the reduced expression states at each locus or whether paramutation correlates with DNA methylation and repeated sequences within the loci, recent experiments are consistent with a common mechanism underlying paramutation at all three loci. Most strikingly, trans-acting mutants have been isolated that prevent paramutation at all three loci and lead to the activation of silenced Mutator transposable elements. Models consistent with the hypothesis that paramutation involves heritable changes in chromatin structure are presented. Several potential roles for paramutation are discussed. These include localizing recombination to low-copy sequences within the genome, establishing and maintaining chromatin domain boundaries, and providing a mechanism for plants to transmit an environmentally influenced expression state to progeny.

Journal

Plant Molecular BiologySpringer Journals

Published: Oct 16, 2004

References

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