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Genetics. 1999 Sep;153(1):401-13.

Arabidopsis PAI gene arrangements, cytosine methylation and expression.

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Department of Biochemistry, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


Previous analysis of the PAI tryptophan biosynthetic gene family in Arabidopsis thaliana revealed that the Wassilewskija (WS) ecotype has four PAI genes at three unlinked sites: a tail-to-tail inverted repeat at one locus (PAI1-PAI4) plus singlet genes at two other loci (PAI2 and PAI3). The four WS PAI genes are densely cytosine methylated over their regions of DNA identity. In contrast, the Columbia (Col) ecotype has three singlet PAI genes at the analogous loci (PAI1, PAI2, and PAI3) and no cytosine methylation. To understand the mechanism of PAI gene duplication at the polymorphic PAI1 locus, and to investigate the relationship between PAI gene arrangement and PAI gene methylation, we analyzed 39 additional ecotypes of Arabidopsis. Six ecotypes had PAI arrangements similar to WS, with an inverted repeat and dense PAI methylation. All other ecotypes had PAI arrangements similar to Col, with no PAI methylation. The novel PAI-methylated ecotypes provide insights into the mechanisms underlying PAI gene duplication and methylation, as well as the relationship between methylation and gene expression.

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