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PLoS Genet. 2009 Sep;5(9):e1000663. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000663. Epub 2009 Sep 25.

Imprinting of the polycomb group gene MEDEA serves as a ploidy sensor in Arabidopsis.

Author information

1
Department of Biology and Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland.

Abstract

Balanced maternal and paternal genome contributions are a requirement for successful seed development. Unbalanced contributions often cause seed abortion, a phenomenon that has been termed "triploid block." Misregulation of imprinted regulatory genes has been proposed to be the underlying cause for abnormalities in growth and structure of the endosperm in seeds with deviating parental contributions. We identified a mutant forming unreduced pollen that enabled us to investigate direct effects of unbalanced parental genome contributions on seed development and to reveal the underlying molecular mechanism of dosage sensitivity. We provide evidence that parent-of-origin-specific expression of the Polycomb group (PcG) gene MEDEA is causally responsible for seed developmental aberrations in Arabidopsis seeds with increased paternal genome contributions. We propose that imprinted expression of PcG genes is an evolutionary conserved mechanism to balance parental genome contributions in embryo nourishing tissues.

PMID:
19779546
PMCID:
PMC2738949
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pgen.1000663
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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