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Plant Cell. 2009 Feb;21(2):386-402. doi: 10.1105/tpc.108.061549. Epub 2009 Feb 24.

Epigenetic regulation, somatic homologous recombination, and abscisic acid signaling are influenced by DNA polymerase epsilon mutation in Arabidopsis.

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State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Biological Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China.


Based on abscisic acid (ABA) inhibition of seed germination and seedling growth assays, we isolated an ABA overly sensitive mutant (abo4-1) caused by a mutation in the Arabidopsis thaliana POL2a/TILTED1(TIL1) gene encoding a catalytic subunit of DNA polymerase epsilon. The dominant, ABA-insensitive abi1-1 or abi2-1 mutations suppressed the ABA hypersensitivity of the abo4-1 mutant. The abo4/til1 mutation reactivated the expression of the silenced Athila retrotransposon transcriptional silent information (TSI) and the silenced 35S-NPTII in the ros1 mutant and increased the frequency of somatic homologous recombination (HR) approximately 60-fold. ABA upregulated the expression of TSI and increased HR in both the wild type and abo4-1. MEIOTIC RECOMBINATION11 and GAMMA RESPONSE1, both of which are required for HR and double-strand DNA break repair, are expressed at higher levels in abo4-1 and are enhanced by ABA, while KU70 was suppressed by ABA. abo4-1 mutant plants are sensitive to UV-B and methyl methanesulfonate and show constitutive expression of the G2/M-specific cyclin CycB1;1 in meristems. The abo4-1 plants were early flowering with lower expression of FLOWER LOCUS C and higher expression of FLOWER LOCUS T and changed histone modifications in the two loci. Our results suggest that ABO4/POL2a/TIL1 is involved in maintaining epigenetic states, HR, and ABA signaling in Arabidopsis.

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