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A DEMETER LIKE gene is specifically expressed during winter dormancy in woody plants

Research Areas
  • Agriculture

5-methylcytosine (5mC) is an important epigenetic mark involved in gene expression repression in many developmental processes both in animals and plants (1, 2). 5mC is generated by DNA methyltransferases using S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) as the methyl group donor, which is a relatively well characterized mechanism. However, demethylation is less understood. In contrast to animals, plants genomes codify for specific 5mC DNA glycosylases that remove DNA methylation by a bifunctional glycosylase/lyase mechanism acting on the cleavage of the glycosidic bond and the phosphodiester backbone through ?,?-elimination, generating a single-nucleotide gap (3, 4, 5, 6). In Arabidopsis these proteins are represented by AtDME, AtROS1, AtDML2 and AtDML3. A Suppression Subtractive Hybridization (SSH) enriched in genes overexpressed during the process of winter dormancy in chestnut stems identified a DML family member in Castanea sativa. In this work we report the characterization of CsDML. Protein sequence and phylogenetic analyses indicates that CsDML belongs to DME/ROS family and conserves all the aminoacid residues shown to be essential for AtROS1 and AtDME activity (7). Additionally, gene expression studies indicate that CsDML responds to external factors such as temperature and photoperiod. To investigate the role of CsDML in tree development, we are carring out functional genetic studies. We have generated transgenic poplar plants overexpressing CsDML (CsDML-OX). The role of CsDML in the establishment, maintenance and exit of winter dormancy is currently being evaluated growing the transgenic poplar plants under controlled conditions. The involvement of a DEMETER LIKE DNA demethylase activity in tree development will be discussed. (1) Chan et al. (2005). Nature Reviews Genetics 6: 351-360 (2) Law et al. (2010). Nature Reviews Genetics 11: 204-220 (3) Choi et al. (2002). Cell 110: 33-42 (4) Agius et al. (2006). PNAS: 103: 11796-11801 (5) Morales-Ruiz et al. (2006). PNAS 103: 6853-6858 (6) Gehring et al. (2006). Cell 124: 495-506 (7) Ponferrada-Marin et al. (2011). Nucleic Acids Research 39: 1473-1484
XII Reunión de Biología Molecular de Plantas
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XII Reunión de Biología Molecular de Plantas

Research Group, Departaments and Institutes related
  • Creador: Centro o Instituto I+D+i: Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas, CBGP
  • Departamento: Biotecnología - Biología Vegetal