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Nat Genet. 2005 Jan;37(1):28-30. Epub 2004 Dec 26.

The Arabidopsis thaliana MEDEA Polycomb group protein controls expression of PHERES1 by parental imprinting.

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  • 1Institute of Plant Biology & Zürich-Basel Plant Science Center, University of Zürich, Zollikerstrasse 107, CH-8008 Zürich, Switzerland. <>


The maternally expressed Arabidopsis thaliana Polycomb group protein MEDEA (MEA) controls expression of the MADS-box gene PHERES1 (PHE1). Here, we show that PHE1 is mainly paternally expressed but maternally repressed and that this maternal repression of PHE1 breaks down in seeds lacking maternal MEA activity. Because Polycomb group proteins control parental imprinting in mammals as well, the independent recruitment of similar protein machineries for the imprinting of genes is a notable example of convergent evolution.

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