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Plant J. 2003 Jul;35(1):33-43.

Coordinate repression of regulators of embryonic identity by PICKLE during germination in Arabidopsis.

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Department of Biochemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, IN 47907-2063, USA.


In angiosperms, germination represents an important developmental transition during which embryonic identity is repressed and vegetative identity emerges. PICKLE (PKL) encodes a CHD3-chromatin-remodeling factor necessary for the repression of expression of LEAFY COTYLEDON1 (LEC1), a central regulator of embryogenesis. A candidate gene approach and microarray analysis identified nine additional genes that exhibit PKL-dependent repression of expression during germination. Transcripts for all three LEAFY COTYLEDON genes, LEC1, LEC2, and FUS3, exhibit PKL-dependent repression, and all three transcripts are elevated more than 100-fold in pkl primary roots that inappropriately express embryonic traits (pickle roots). Three other genes that exhibit PKL-dependent regulation have expression patterns correlated with zygotic or somatic embryogenesis, and one gene encodes a putative Lin-11, Isl-1, MEC-3 (LIM) domain transcriptional regulator that is preferentially expressed in siliques. Genes that exhibit PKL-dependent repression during germination are not necessarily regulated by PKL at other points in development. Our data suggest that PKL selectively regulates a suite of genes during germination to repress embryonic identity. In particular, we propose that PKL acts as a master regulator of the LEAFY COTYLEDON genes, and that joint derepression of these genes is likely to contribute substantially to expression of embryonic identity in pkl seedlings.

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