Changes in homologous recombination frequency in Arabidopsis thaliana plants exposed to stress depend on time of exposure during development and on duration of stress exposure.
ABSTRACT: In the past, we showed that exposure to abiotic and biotic stresses changes the homologous recombination frequency (HRF) in somatic tissue and in the progeny. In current work we planned to answer the following question: do stress intensity/duration and time during exposure influence changes in somatic HRF and transgenerational changes in HRF? Here, we tested the effects of exposure to UV-C, cold and heat on HRF at 7, 14, 21 and 28 days post germination (dpg). We found that exposure at 14 and 21 dpg resulted in a higher increase in HRF as compared to exposure at 7 dpg; longer exposure to UV-C resulted in a higher frequency of HR, whereas prolonged exposure to cold or heat, especially at later developmental stages, had almost no effect on somatic HRF. Exposure at 7 dpg had a positive effect on somatic growth of plants; plants exposed to stress at this age had larger leaves. The analysis of HRF in the progeny showed that the progeny of plants exposed to stress at 7 dpg had an increase in somatic HRF and showed larger sizes of recombination spots on leaves. The progeny of plants exposed to UV-C at 7 dpg and the progeny of plants exposed to cold or heat at 28 dpg had larger leaves as compared to control plants. To summarize, our experiments showed that changes in somatic and transgenerational HRF depend on the type of stress plants are exposed to, time of exposure during development and the duration of exposure.
Project description:Epigenetic states and certain environmental responses in mammals and seed plants can persist in the next sexual generation. These transgenerational effects have potential adaptative significance as well as medical and agronomic ramifications. Recent evidence suggests that some abiotic and biotic stress responses of plants are transgenerational. For example, viral infection of tobacco plants and exposure of Arabidopsis thaliana plants to UVC and flagellin can induce transgenerational increases in homologous recombination frequency (HRF). Here we show that exposure of Arabidopsis plants to stresses, including salt, UVC, cold, heat and flood, resulted in a higher HRF, increased global genome methylation, and higher tolerance to stress in the untreated progeny. This transgenerational effect did not, however, persist in successive generations. Treatment of the progeny of stressed plants with 5-azacytidine was shown to decrease global genomic methylation and enhance stress tolerance. Dicer-like (DCL) 2 and DCL3 encode Dicer activities important for small RNA-dependent gene silencing. Stress-induced HRF and DNA methylation were impaired in dcl2 and dcl3 deficiency mutants, while in dcl2 mutants, only stress-induced stress tolerance was impaired. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that stress-induced transgenerational responses in Arabidopsis depend on altered DNA methylation and smRNA silencing pathways.
Project description:Plants are able to maintain the memory of stress exposure throughout their ontogenesis and faithfully propagate it into the next generation. Recent evidence argues for the epigenetic nature of this phenomenon. Small RNAs (smRNAs) are one of the vital epigenetic factors because they can both affect gene expression at the place of their generation and maintain non-cell-autonomous gene regulation. Here, we have made an attempt to decipher the contribution of smRNAs to the heat-shock-induced transgenerational inheritance in Brassica rapa plants using sequencing technology. To do this, we have generated comprehensive profiles of a transcriptome and a small RNAome (smRNAome) from somatic and reproductive tissues of stressed plants and their untreated progeny. We have demonstrated that the highest tissue-specific alterations in the transcriptome and smRNAome profile are detected in tissues that were not directly exposed to stress, namely, in the endosperm and pollen. Importantly, we have revealed that the progeny of stressed plants exhibit the highest fluctuations at the smRNAome level but not at the transcriptome level. Additionally, we have uncovered the existence of heat-inducible and transgenerationally transmitted tRNA-derived small RNA fragments in plants. Finally, we suggest that miR168 and braAGO1 are involved in the stress-induced transgenerational inheritance in plants.
Project description:Plants exposed to environmental stresses draw upon many genetic and epigenetic strategies, with the former sometimes modulated by the latter. This can help the plant, and its immediate progeny, at least, to better endure the stress. Some evidence has led to proposals that (epi) genetic changes can be both selective and sustainably heritable, while other evidence suggests that changes are effectively stochastic, and important only because they induce genetic variation. One type of stress with an arguably high level of stochasticity in its effects is temperature stress. Studies of how heat and cold affect the rates of meiotic recombination (MR) and somatic mutations (SMs, which are potentially heritable in plants) report increases, decreases, or no effect. Collectively, they do not point to any consistent patterns. Some of this variability, however, might arise from the stress being applied for such an extended time, typically days or weeks. Here, we adopted a targeted approach by (1) limiting exposure to one hour; and (2) timing it to coincide with (a) gamete, and early gametophyte, development, a period of high stress sensitivity; and (b) a late stage of vegetative development.For plants (Arabidopsis thaliana) otherwise grown at 22 °C, we measured the effects of a 1 h exposure to cold (12 °C) or heat (32 °C) on the rates of MR, and four types of SMs (frameshift mutations; intrachromosomal recombination; base substitutions; transpositions) in the F1 progeny. One parent (wild type) was stressed, the other (unstressed) carried a genetic event detector. When rates were compared to those in progeny of control (both parents unstressed) two patterns emerged. In the progeny of younger plants (stressed at 36 days; pollinated at 40 days) heat and cold either had no effect (on MR) or (for SMs) had effects that were rare and stochastic. In the progeny of older plants (stressed at 41 days; pollinated at 45 days), while effects were also infrequent, those that were seen followed a consistent pattern: rates of all five genetic events were lowest at 12 °C and highest at 32 °C, i.e. they varied in a "dose-response" manner. This pattern was strongest (or, in the case of MR, only apparent) in progeny whose stressed parent was female.While the infrequency of effects suggests the need for cautious inference, the consistency of responses in the progeny of older plants, indicate that in some circumstances the level of stochasticity in inherited genetic responses to heat or cold stress can be context-dependent, possibly reflecting life-cycle stages in the parental generation that are variably stress sensitive.
Project description:Recent advances in cancer treatments have led to significant increases in cure rates. Most cancer patients are treated with various cytotoxic chemotherapy regimens. These treatment modalities are mutagenic and genotoxic and cause a wide array of late-occurring health problems, and even exert a deleterious influence on future offspring. The adverse effects from exposed parents on offspring are referred to as transgenerational effects, and currently little is known about chemotherapy-induced transgenerational effects. Furthermore, transgenerational effects have not been studied in the brains of progeny of exposed parents. In this study, we analyzed the existence and molecular nature of transgenerational effects in the brains of progeny of animals exposed to three common chemotherapy agents: cyclophosphamide (CPP), procarbazine (PCB) and mitomycin C (MMC). For the first time, our results show that paternal exposure to chemotherapy drugs causes transgenerational changes in the brain of unexposed progeny. Although no DNA damage was observed in terms of ?H2AX levels, some alterations were found in levels of PCNA, protein involved in DNA repair, replication and profileration. Furthermore, there were changes in proliferation and apoptosis proteins BCL2 and AKT1, the proteins associated with DNA methylation, DNMT1 and MeCP2. Some altered expression trends were noted in proteins involved in myelin biogenesis, MBP and MYT1L. Moreover, global transcriptome profiling revealed changes in over 200 genes in the whole brains of progeny of animals exposed to CPP, and the changes in the levels of FOXP2 and ELK1proteins were confirmed by western blot analysis. These findings suggest that paternal chemotherapy significantly affects offspring brain development and may affect brain functioning. This research provides a key roadmap for future investigations of the novel phenomenon of transgenerational effects of chemotherapy in the brain of progeny of exposed parents.
Project description:Adverse conditions can trigger DNA damage as well as DNA repair responses in plants. A variety of stress factors are known to stimulate homologous recombination, the most accurate repair pathway, by increasing the concentration of necessary enzymatic components and the frequency of events. This effect has been reported to last into subsequent generations not exposed to the stress. To establish a basis for a genetic analysis of this transgenerational stress memory, a broad range of treatments was tested for quantitative effects on homologous recombination in the progeny. Several Arabidopsis lines, transgenic for well-established recombination traps, were exposed to 10 different physical and chemical stress treatments, and scored for the number of somatic homologous recombination (SHR) events in the treated generation as well as in the two subsequent generations that were not treated. These numbers were related to the expression level of genes involved in homologous recombination and repair. SHR was enhanced after the majority of treatments, confirming previous data and adding new effective stress types, especially interference with chromatin. Compounds that directly modify DNA stimulated SHR to values exceeding previously described induction rates, concomitant with an induction of genes involved in SHR. In spite of the significant stimulation in the stressed generations, the two subsequent non-treated generations only showed a low and stochastic increase in SHR that did not correlate with the degree of stimulation in the parental plants. Transcripts coding for SHR enzymes generally returned to pre-treatment levels in the progeny. Thus, transgenerational effects on SHR frequency are not a general response to abiotic stress in Arabidopsis and may require special conditions.
Project description:Environmental compounds including fungicides, plastics, pesticides, dioxin and hydrocarbons can promote the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of adult-onset disease in future generation progeny following ancestral exposure during the critical period of fetal gonadal sex determination. This study examined the actions of the pesticide methoxychlor to promote the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of adult-onset disease and associated differential DNA methylation regions (i.e. epimutations) in sperm. Gestating F0 generation female rats were transiently exposed to methoxychlor during fetal gonadal development (gestation days 8 to 14) and then adult-onset disease was evaluated in adult F1 and F3 (great-grand offspring) generation progeny for control (vehicle exposed) and methoxychlor lineage offspring. There were increases in the incidence of kidney disease, ovary disease, and obesity in the methoxychlor lineage animals. In females and males the incidence of disease increased in both the F1 and the F3 generations and the incidence of multiple disease increased in the F3 generation. There was increased disease incidence in F4 generation reverse outcross (female) offspring indicating disease transmission was primarily transmitted through the female germline. Analysis of the F3 generation sperm epigenome of the methoxychlor lineage males identified differentially DNA methylated regions (DMR) termed epimutations in a genome-wide gene promoters analysis. These epimutations were found to be methoxychlor exposure specific in comparison with other exposure specific sperm epimutation signatures. Observations indicate that the pesticide methoxychlor has the potential to promote the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease and the sperm epimutations appear to provide exposure specific epigenetic biomarkers for transgenerational disease and ancestral environmental exposures.
Project description:Transgenerational effects are important for phenotypic plasticity and adaptation of marine invertebrates in the changing ocean. Ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation is an increasing threat to marine invertebrates. For the first time, we reported positive and negative transgenerational effects of UV-B radiation on egg size, fertilization, hatchability and larval size of a marine invertebrate. Strongylocentrotus intermedius exposed to UV-B radiation showed positive transgenerational effects and adaptation on egg size, hatching rate and post-oral arm length of larvae. Negative transgenerational effects were found in body length, stomach length and stomach width of larvae whose parents were exposed to UV-B radiation. Sires probably play important roles in transgenerational effects of UV-B. The present study provides valuable information into transgenerational effects of UV-B radiation on fitness related traits of sea urchins (at least Strongylocentrotus intermedius).
Project description:Ground levels of solar UV-B radiation induce DNA damage. Sessile phototrophic organisms such as vascular plants are recurrently exposed to sunlight and require UV-B photoreception, flavonols shielding, direct reversal of pyrimidine dimers and nucleotide excision repair for resistance against UV-B radiation. However, the frequency of UV-B-induced mutations is unknown in plants. Here we quantify the amount and types of mutations in the offspring of Arabidopsis thaliana wild-type and UV-B-hypersensitive mutants exposed to simulated natural UV-B over their entire life cycle. We show that reversal of pyrimidine dimers by UVR2 photolyase is the major mechanism required for sustaining plant genome stability across generations under UV-B. In addition to widespread somatic expression, germline-specific UVR2 activity occurs during late flower development, and is important for ensuring low mutation rates in male and female cell lineages. This allows plants to maintain genome integrity in the germline despite exposure to UV-B.
Project description:Exposure to environmental factors can induce the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease. Alterations to the epigenome termed "epimutations" include "primary epimutations" which are epigenetic alterations in the absence of genetic change and "secondary epimutations" which form following an initial genetic change. To determine if secondary epimutations contribute to transgenerational transmission of disease following in utero exposure to the endocrine disruptor vinclozolin, we exposed pregnant female rats carrying the lacI mutation-reporter transgene to vinclozolin and assessed the frequency of mutations in kidney tissue and sperm recovered from F1 and F3 generation progeny. Our results confirm that vinclozolin induces primary epimutations rather than secondary epimutations, but also suggest that some primary epimutations can predispose a subsequent accelerated accumulation of genetic mutations in F3 generation descendants that have the potential to contribute to transgenerational phenotypes. We therefore propose the existence of "tertiary epimutations" which are initial primary epimutations that promote genome instability leading to an accelerated accumulation of genetic mutations.
Project description:Climate warming has major impacts on seed germination of several alpine species, hence on their regeneration capacity. Most studies have investigated the effects of warming after seed dispersal, and little is known about the effects a warmer parental environment may have on germination and dormancy of the seed progeny. Nevertheless, temperatures during seed development and maturation could alter the state of dormancy, affecting the timing of emergence and seedling survival. Here, the interplay between pre- and post-dispersal temperatures driving seed dormancy release and germination requirements of alpine plants were investigated.Three plant species inhabiting alpine snowbeds were exposed to an artificial warming treatment (i.e. +1·5 K) and to natural conditions in the field. Seeds produced were exposed to six different periods of cold stratification (0, 2, 4, 8, 12 and 20 weeks at 0 °C), followed by four incubation temperatures (5, 10, 15 and 20 °C) for germination testing.A warmer parental environment produced either no or a significant increase in germination, depending on the duration of cold stratification, incubation temperatures and their interaction. In contrast, the speed of germination was less sensitive to changes in the parental environment. Moreover, the effects of warming appeared to be linked to the level of (physiological) seed dormancy, with deeper dormant species showing major changes in response to incubation temperatures and less dormant species in response to cold stratification periods.Plants developed under warmer climates will produce seeds with changed germination responses to temperature and/or cold stratification, but the extent of these changes across species could be driven by seed dormancy traits. Transgenerational plastic adjustments of seed germination and dormancy shown here may result from increased seed viability, reduced primary and secondary dormancy state, or both, and may play a crucial role in future plant adaptation to climate change.