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Plant J. 2010 Feb;61(4):686-97. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2009.04096.x. Epub 2009 Nov 27.

The transcript elongation factor FACT affects Arabidopsis vegetative and reproductive development and genetically interacts with HUB1/2.

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1
Department of Life Sciences, Aalborg University, Sohngaardsholmsvej 49, DK-9000 Aalborg, Denmark.

Abstract

The facilitates chromatin transcription (FACT) complex, consisting of the SSRP1 and SPT16 proteins, is a histone chaperone that assists the progression of transcribing RNA polymerase on chromatin templates by destabilizing nucleosomes. Here, we examined plants that harbour mutations in the genes encoding the subunits of Arabidopsis FACT. These experiments revealed that (i) SSRP1 is critical for plant viability, and (ii) plants with reduced amounts of SSRP1 and SPT16 display various defects in vegetative and reproductive development. Thus, mutant plants display an increased number of leaves and inflorescences, show early bolting, have abnormal flower and leaf architecture, and their seed production is severely affected. The early flowering of the mutant plants is associated with reduced expression of the floral repressor FLC in ssrp1 and spt16 plants. Compared to control plants, reduced amounts of FACT in mutant plants are detected at the FLC locus as well as at the locations of housekeeping genes (whose expression is not affected in the mutants), suggesting that expression of FLC is particularly sensitive to reduced FACT activity. Analysis of double mutants that are affected in the expression of both FACT subunits and factors catalysing the mono-ubiquitination of histone H2B (HUB1/2) demonstrates that they genetically interact to regulate various developmental processes (i.e. branching, leaf venation pattern, silique development) but independently regulate the growth of leaves and the induction of flowering.

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