AGO3 predominantly bound 24-nt sRNAs with 5’ terminal adenine. The spectrum of AGO3-associated sRNAs was different from those bound to AGO2. By contrast, approximately 30% of AGO3-bound 24-nt sRNAs overlapped with those bound to AGO4 and over 60% of AGO3-associated 24-nt sRNA enriched loci were identical to those of AGO4. In addition, expression of AGO3 driven by AGO4 native promoter partially complemented AGO4 function and rescued DNA methylation defect in ago4-1 background. Examination of DNA methylation using bisulfite conversion of unmethylated cytosines in three genetic backgrounds of Arabidopsis thaliana.