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Plant Cell. 2018 Mar;30(3):717-736. doi: 10.1105/tpc.17.00632. Epub 2018 Mar 7.

RecQ Helicases Function in Development, DNA Repair, and Gene Targeting in Physcomitrella patens.

Author information

1
Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology, University of Freiburg, 79104 Freiburg, Germany.
2
Julius Kuehn Institute, Institute for Biosafety in Plant Biotechnology, 06484 Quedlinburg, Germany.
3
Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin, INRA, AgroParisTech, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, 78000 Versailles, France.
4
Julius Kuehn Institute, Institute for Biosafety in Plant Biotechnology, 06484 Quedlinburg, Germany frank.hartung@julius-kuehn.de ralf.reski@biologie.uni-freiburg.de.
5
Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology, University of Freiburg, 79104 Freiburg, Germany frank.hartung@julius-kuehn.de ralf.reski@biologie.uni-freiburg.de.
6
BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies, University of Freiburg, 79104 Freiburg, Germany.

Abstract

RecQ DNA helicases are genome surveillance proteins found in all kingdoms of life. They are characterized best in humans, as mutations in RecQ genes lead to developmental abnormalities and diseases. To better understand RecQ functions in plants we concentrated on Arabidopsis thaliana and Physcomitrella patens, the model species predominantly used for studies on DNA repair and gene targeting. Phylogenetic analysis of the six P. patens RecQ genes revealed their orthologs in humans and plants. Because Arabidopsis and P. patens differ in their RecQ4 and RecQ6 genes, reporter and deletion moss mutants were generated and gene functions studied in reciprocal cross-species and cross-kingdom approaches. Both proteins can be found in meristematic moss tissues, although at low levels and with distinct expression patterns. PpRecQ4 is involved in embryogenesis and in subsequent development as demonstrated by sterility of ΔPpRecQ4 mutants and by morphological aberrations. Additionally, ΔPpRecQ4 displays an increased sensitivity to DNA damages and an increased rate of gene targeting. Therefore, we conclude that PpRecQ4 acts as a repressor of recombination. In contrast, PpRecQ6 is not obviously important for moss development or DNA repair but does function as a potent enhancer of gene targeting.

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