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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011 Aug;1809(8):395-406. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2011.05.013. Epub 2011 Jun 6.

Polycomb-group mediated epigenetic mechanisms through plant evolution.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Ecology of Plants, Tel-Aviv University, Israel.


Polycomb Group (PcG) proteins form an epigenetic "memory system", conserved in both plants and animals, controlling global gene expression during development via histone modifications. The role of PcG proteins in plants was primarily explored in Arabidopsis thaliana, where PcG regulation of developmental processes was demonstrated throughout the plant life cycle. Our knowledge about the PcG machinery in terrestrial plants other than Arabidopsis began to accumulate only in recent years. In this review we summarize recent emerging data on the evolution and diversification of PcG mechanisms in various phyla, from early-diverging plants, including members of the Chlorophyte algae, through bryophytes and flowering plants. We describe the compositions of the PcG gene families, their so-far studied expression profiles, and finally summarize commonalities vs. differences among PcG functions across the various species. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Epigenetic control of cellular and developmental processes in plants.

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