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Plant J. 2006 May;46(4):613-27.

Genome-wide analysis of high-altitude maize and gene knockdown stocks implicates chromatin remodeling proteins in response to UV-B.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, 385 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305-5020, USA.


A comparative analysis, by expression profiling of maize, was performed to identify novel components in the mechanisms of maize responses to UV-B. Five high-altitude landraces grown from 2,000 to 3,400 m naturally receive higher UV-B fluence than plants at lower altitudes and similar latitudes. These high-altitude landraces were compared directly with a low-altitude line and with literature reports for other temperate maize lines. A microarray analysis demonstrated that among the UV-B responsive transcripts, several types of gene implicated in chromatin remodeling are differentially expressed before and after UV-B treatment in high-altitude lines. RNAi transgenic plants with lower expression of four such chromatin-associated genes exhibited hypersensitivity to UV-B by measurements of leaf arching, increased leaf chlorosis and necrosis, and altered UV-B regulation of selected genes. These results collectively suggest that genes involved in chromatin remodeling are crucial for UV-B acclimation and that some high-altitude lines exhibit adaptations to this challenge.

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