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Plant J. 2010 Feb;61(4):623-36. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2009.04093.x. Epub 2009 Nov 26.

EARLY IN SHORT DAYS 7 (ESD7) encodes the catalytic subunit of DNA polymerase epsilon and is required for flowering repression through a mechanism involving epigenetic gene silencing.

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CBGP (INIA-UPM) Departamento de Biotecnología, Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria, Campus de Montegancedo, Madrid 28223, Spain.


We have characterized a mutation affecting the Arabidopsis EARLY IN SHORT DAYS 7 (ESD7) gene encoding the catalytic subunit of DNA polymerase epsilon (epsilon), AtPOL2a. The esd7-1 mutation causes early flowering independently of photoperiod, shortened inflorescence internodes and altered leaf and root development. esd7-1 is a hypomorphic allele whereas knockout alleles displayed an embryo-lethal phenotype. The esd7 early flowering phenotype requires functional FT and SOC1 proteins and might also be related to the misregulation of AG and AG-like gene expression found in esd7. Genes involved in the modulation of chromatin structural dynamics, such as LHP1/TFL2 and EBS, which negatively regulate FT expression, were found to interact genetically with ESD7. In fact a molecular interaction between the carboxy terminus of ESD7 and TFL2 was demonstrated in vitro. Besides, fas2 mutations suppressed the esd7 early flowering phenotype and ICU2 was found to interact with ESD7. Discrete regions of the chromatin of FT and AG loci were enriched in activating epigenetic marks in the esd7-1 mutant. We concluded that ESD7 might be participating in processes involved in chromatin-mediated cellular memory.

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