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Sci Rep. 2019 Nov 20;9(1):17159. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-53704-2.

Transcriptional Activation of Arabidopsis Zygotes Is Required for Initial Cell Divisions.

Author information

1
Gregor Mendel Institute (GMI), Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna Biocenter (VBC), Dr. Bohr-Gasse 3, 1030, Vienna, Austria.
2
Gregor Mendel Institute (GMI), Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna Biocenter (VBC), Dr. Bohr-Gasse 3, 1030, Vienna, Austria. michael.nodine@gmi.oeaw.ac.at.

Abstract

Commonly referred to as the maternal-to-zygotic transition, the shift of developmental control from maternal-to-zygotic genomes is a key event during animal and plant embryogenesis. Together with the degradation of parental gene products, the increased transcriptional activities of the zygotic genome remodels the early embryonic transcriptome during this transition. Although evidence from multiple flowering plants suggests that zygotes become transcriptionally active soon after fertilization, the timing and developmental requirements of zygotic genome activation in Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) remained a matter of debate until recently. In this report, we optimized an expansion microscopy technique for robust immunostaining of Arabidopsis ovules and seeds. This enabled the detection of marks indicative of active transcription in zygotes before the first cell division. Moreover, we employed a live-imaging culture system together with transcriptional inhibitors to demonstrate that such active transcription is physiologically required in zygotes and early embryos. Our results indicate that zygotic genome activation occurs soon after fertilization and is required for the initial zygotic divisions in Arabidopsis.

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