Reprogramming the epigenome during germline and seed development
ABSTRACT Gene silencing by DNA methylation and small RNAs is globally reconfigured during gametogenesis in Arabidopsis, affecting transposon activity, gene regulation and development.
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ABSTRACT: Many higher eukaryotes have evolved strategies for the maternal control of growth and development of their offspring. In higher plants this is achieved in part by postmeiotic gene activity controlling the development of the haploid female gametophyte. stunter1 (stt1) is a novel, recessive, maternal effect mutant in maize that displays viable, miniature kernels. Maternal inheritance of stt1 results in seeds with reduced but otherwise normal endosperms and embryos. The stt1 mutation displays reduced transmission through the male and female parents and causes significant changes in the sizes of both male and female gametophytes. stt1 pollen grains are smaller than wild type, have reduced germination efficiency, and reduced pollen tube growth. stt1 embryo sacs have smaller central cells and abnormal antipodal cells that are larger, more vacuolated, and fewer in number than wild type. Embryos and endosperms produced by fertilization of stt1 embryo sacs develop and grow more slowly than wild type. The data suggest that the morphology of mutant embryo sacs influences endosperm development, leading to the production of miniature kernels in stt1. Analysis of seeds carrying a mutant maternal allele of stt1 over a deletion of the paternal allele demonstrates that both parental alleles are active after fertilization in both the endosperm and embryo. This analysis also indicates that embryo development until the globular stage in maize can proceed without endosperm development and is likely supported directly by the diploid mother plant.Genetics 04/2011; 187(4):1085-97. DOI:10.1534/genetics.110.125286 · 4.87 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The first haploid angiosperm, a dwarf form of cotton with half the normal chromosome complement, was discovered in 1920, and in the ninety years since then such plants have been identified in many other species. They can occur either spontaneously or can be induced by modified pollination methods in vivo, or by in vitro culture of immature male or female gametophytes. Haploids represent an immediate, one-stage route to homozygous diploids and thence to F(1) hybrid production. The commercial exploitation of heterosis in such F(1) hybrids leads to the development of hybrid seed companies and subsequently to the GM revolution in agriculture. This review describes the range of techniques available for the isolation or induction of haploids and discusses their value in a range of areas, from fundamental research on mutant isolation and transformation, through to applied aspects of quantitative genetics and plant breeding. It will also focus on how molecular methods have been used recently to explore some of the underlying aspects of this fascinating developmental phenomenon.Plant Biotechnology Journal 03/2010; 8(4):377-424. DOI:10.1111/j.1467-7652.2009.00498.x · 5.68 Impact Factor