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J Integr Plant Biol. 2010 Apr;52(4):420-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2010.00927.x.

SDG714 regulates specific gene expression and consequently affects plant growth via H3K9 dimethylation.

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State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering, Institute of Plant Biology, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China.


Histone lysine methylation is known to be involved in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression in all eukaryotes including plants. Here we show that the rice SDG714 is primarily responsible for dimethylation but not trimethylation on histone H3K9 in vivo. Overexpression of YFP-SDG714 in Arabidopsis significantly inhibits plant growth and this inhibition is associated with an enhanced level of H3K9 dimethylation. Our microarray results show that many genes essential for the plant growth and development were downregulated in transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing YFP-SDG714. By chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis, we show that YFP-SDG714 is targeted to specific chromatin regions and dimethylate the H3K9, which is linked with heterochromatinization and the downregulation of genes. Most interestingly, when YFP-SDG714 production is stopped, the inhibited plants can partially restore their growth, suggesting that the perturbation of gene expression caused by YFP-SDG714 is revertible. Taken together, our results point to an important role of SDG714 in H3K9 dimethylation, suppression of gene expression and plant growth, and provide a potential method to regulate gene expression and plant development by an on-off switch of SDG714 expression.

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