Parent-of-origin-dependent nucleosome organization correlates with genomic imprinting in maize.
ABSTRACT: Genomic imprinting refers to allele-specific expression of genes depending on their parental origin. Nucleosomes, the fundamental units of chromatin, play a critical role in gene transcriptional regulation. However, it remains unknown whether differential nucleosome organization is related to the allele-specific expression of imprinted genes. Here, we generated a genome-wide map of allele-specific nucleosome occupancy in maize endosperm and presented an integrated analysis of its relationship with parent-of-origin-dependent gene expression and DNA methylation. We found that ?2.3% of nucleosomes showed significant parental bias in maize endosperm. The parent-of-origin-dependent nucleosomes mostly exist as single isolated nucleosomes. Parent-of-origin-dependent nucleosomes were significantly associated with the allele-specific expression of imprinted genes, with nucleosomes positioned preferentially in the promoter of nonexpressed alleles of imprinted genes. Furthermore, we found that most of the paternal specifically positioned nucleosomes (pat-nucleosomes) were associated with parent-of-origin-dependent differential methylated regions, suggesting a functional link between the maternal demethylation and the occurrence of pat-nucleosome. Maternal specifically positioned nucleosomes (mat-nucleosomes) were independent of allele-specific DNA methylation but seem to be associated with allele-specific histone modification. Our study provides the first genome-wide map of allele-specific nucleosome occupancy in plants and suggests a mechanistic connection between chromatin organization and genomic imprinting.
Project description:Genetic imprinting is a specific epigenetic phenomenon in which a subset of genes is expressed depending on their parent-of-origin. Two types of chromatin modifications, DNA methylation and histone modification, are generally believed to be involved in the regulation of imprinting. However, the genome-wide correlation between allele-specific chromatin modifications and imprinted gene expression in maize remains elusive. Here we report genome-wide high resolution allele-specific maps of DNA methylation and histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) in maize endosperm. For DNA methylation, thousands of parent-of-origin dependent differentially methylated regions (pDMRs) were identified. All pDMRs were uniformly paternally hypermethylated and maternally hypomethylated. We also identified 1131 allele-specific H3K27me3 peaks that are preferentially present in the maternal alleles. Maternally expressed imprinted genes (MEGs) and paternally expressed imprinted genes (PEGs) had different patterns of allele-specific DNA methylation and H3K27me3. Allele-specific expression of MEGs was not directly related to allele-specific H3K27me3, and only a subset of MEGs was associated with maternal-specific DNA demethylation, which was primarily located in the upstream and 5' portion of gene body regions. In contrast, allele-specific expression of a majority of PEGs was related to maternal-specific H3K27me3, with a subgroup of PEGs also associated with maternal-specific DNA demethylation. Both pDMRs and maternal H3K27me3 peaks associated with PEGs are enriched in gene body regions. Our results indicate highly complex patterns of regulation on genetic imprinting in maize endosperm.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Epigenetic regulation of gene dosage by genomic imprinting of some autosomal genes facilitates normal reproductive development in both mammals and flowering plants. While many imprinted genes have been identified and intensively studied in mammals, smaller numbers have been characterized in flowering plants, mostly in Arabidopsis thaliana. Identification of additional imprinted loci in flowering plants by genome-wide screening for parent-of-origin specific uniparental expression in seed tissues will facilitate our understanding of the origins and functions of imprinted genes in flowering plants. RESULTS: cDNA-AFLP can detect allele-specific expression that is parent-of-origin dependent for expressed genes in which restriction site polymorphisms exist in the transcripts derived from each allele. Using a genome-wide cDNA-AFLP screen surveying allele-specific expression of 4500 transcript-derived fragments, we report the identification of 52 maternally expressed genes (MEGs) displaying parent-of-origin dependent expression patterns in Arabidopsis siliques containing F1 hybrid seeds (3, 4 and 5 days after pollination). We identified these MEGs by developing a bioinformatics tool (GenFrag) which can directly determine the identities of transcript-derived fragments from (i) their size and (ii) which selective nucleotides were added to the primers used to generate them. Hence, GenFrag facilitates increased throughput for genome-wide cDNA-AFLP fragment analyses. The 52 MEGs we identified were further filtered for high expression levels in the endosperm relative to the seed coat to identify the candidate genes most likely representing novel imprinted genes expressed in the endosperm of Arabidopsis thaliana. Expression in seed tissues of the three top-ranked candidate genes, ATCDC48, PDE120 and MS5-like, was confirmed by Laser-Capture Microdissection and qRT-PCR analysis. Maternal-specific expression of these genes in Arabidopsis thaliana F1 seeds was confirmed via allele-specific transcript analysis across a range of different accessions. Differentially methylated regions were identified adjacent to ATCDC48 and PDE120, which may represent candidate imprinting control regions. Finally, we demonstrate that expression levels of these three genes in vegetative tissues are MET1-dependent, while their uniparental maternal expression in the seed is not dependent on MET1. CONCLUSIONS: Using a cDNA-AFLP transcriptome profiling approach, we have identified three genes, ATCDC48, PDE120 and MS5-like which represent novel maternally expressed imprinted genes in the Arabidopsis thaliana seed. The extent of overlap between our cDNA-AFLP screen for maternally expressed imprinted genes, and other screens for imprinted and endosperm-expressed genes is discussed.
Project description:Genomic imprinting results in monoallelic gene expression in a parent-of-origin-dependent manner and is regulated by the differential epigenetic marking of the parental alleles. In plants, genomic imprinting has been primarily described for genes expressed in the endosperm, a tissue nourishing the developing embryo that does not contribute to the next generation. In Arabidopsis, the genes MEDEA (MEA) and PHERES1 (PHE1), which are imprinted in the endosperm, are also expressed in the embryo; whether their embryonic expression is regulated by imprinting or not, however, remains controversial. In contrast, the maternally expressed in embryo 1 (mee1) gene of maize is clearly imprinted in the embryo. We identified several imprinted candidate genes in an allele-specific transcriptome of hybrid Arabidopsis embryos and confirmed parent-of-origin-dependent, monoallelic expression for eleven maternally expressed genes (MEGs) and one paternally expressed gene (PEG) in the embryo, using allele-specific expression analyses and reporter gene assays. Genetic studies indicate that the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) but not the DNA METHYLTRANSFERASE1 (MET1) is involved in regulating imprinted expression in the embryo. In the seedling, all embryonic MEGs and the PEG are expressed from both parents, suggesting that the imprint is erased during late embryogenesis or early vegetative development. Our finding that several genes are regulated by genomic imprinting in the Arabidopsis embryo clearly demonstrates that this epigenetic phenomenon is not a unique feature of the endosperm in both monocots and dicots.
Project description:Imprinted genes are expressed from only one allele in a parent of origin-specific manner. The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p57kip2 is encoded by an imprinted gene Cdkn1c, with the paternal allele being silenced. The possible expression and function of the paternal allele of Cdkn1c have remained little studied, however. We now show that the paternal allele of the Cdkn1c gene is expressed at a low level in the developing mouse neocortex. Surprisingly, the central nervous system-specific conditional deletion of the paternal allele (pat cKO) at the Cdkn1c locus resulted in a marked reduction in brain size. Furthermore, pat cKO gradually reduced the number of neural stem-progenitor cells (NPCs) during neocortical development, and thus reduced the number of upper-layer neurons, which were derived from late-stage NPCs. Our results thus show that the paternal allele of the Cdkn1c locus plays a key role in maintenance of NPCs during neocortical development.
Project description:Genomic imprinting is a form of epigenetic regulation resulting in differential gene expression that reflects the parent of origin. In plants, imprinted gene expression predominantly occurs in the seed endosperm. Maternal-specific DNA demethylation by the DNA demethylase DME frequently underlies genomic imprinting in endosperm. Whether other more ubiquitously expressed DNA demethylases regulate imprinting is unknown. Here, we found that the DNA demethylase ROS1 regulates the imprinting of DOGL4 DOGL4 is expressed from the maternal allele in endosperm and displays preferential methylation and suppression of the paternal allele. We found that ROS1 negatively regulates imprinting by demethylating the paternal allele, preventing its hypermethylation and complete silencing. Furthermore, we found that DOGL4 negatively affects seed dormancy and response to the phytohormone abscisic acid and that ROS1 controls these processes by regulating DOGL4 Our results reveal roles for ROS1 in mitigating imprinted gene expression and regulating seed dormancy.
Project description:Genomic imprinting often results in parent-of-origin specific differential expression of maternally and paternally inherited alleles. In plants, the triploid endosperm is where gene imprinting occurs most often, but aside from studies on Arabidopsis, little is known about gene imprinting in dicotyledons. In this study, we inspected genomic imprinting in castor bean (Ricinus communis) endosperm, which persists throughout seed development. After mapping out the polymorphic SNP loci between accessions ZB306 and ZB107, we generated deep sequencing RNA profiles of F1 hybrid seeds derived from reciprocal crosses. Using polymorphic SNP sites to quantify allele-specific expression levels, we identified 209 genes in reciprocal endosperms with potential parent-of-origin specific expression, including 200 maternally expressed genes and 9 paternally expressed genes. In total, 57 of the imprinted genes were validated via reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction sequencing, and analysis of the genomic DNA methylation distribution between embryo and endosperm tissues showed significant hypomethylation in the endosperm and an enrichment of differentially methylated regions around the identified genes. Curiously, the expression of the imprinted genes was not tightly linked to DNA methylation. These results largely extended gene imprinting information existing in plants, providing potential directions for further research in gene imprinting.
Project description:Arabidopsis thaliana endosperm, a transient tissue that nourishes the embryo, exhibits extensive localized DNA demethylation on maternally inherited chromosomes. Demethylation mediates parent-of-origin-specific (imprinted) gene expression but is apparently unnecessary for the extensive accumulation of maternally biased small RNA (sRNA) molecules detected in seeds. Endosperm DNA in the distantly related monocots rice and maize is likewise locally hypomethylated, but whether this hypomethylation is generally parent-of-origin specific is unknown. Imprinted expression of sRNA also remains uninvestigated in monocot seeds. Here, we report high-coverage sequencing of the Kitaake rice cultivar that enabled us to show that localized hypomethylation in rice endosperm occurs solely on the maternal genome, preferring regions of high DNA accessibility. Maternally expressed imprinted genes are enriched for hypomethylation at putative promoter regions and transcriptional termini and paternally expressed genes at promoters and gene bodies, mirroring our recent results in A. thaliana. However, unlike in A. thaliana, rice endosperm sRNA populations are dominated by specific strong sRNA-producing loci, and imprinted 24-nt sRNAs are expressed from both parental genomes and correlate with hypomethylation. Overlaps between imprinted sRNA loci and imprinted genes expressed from opposite alleles suggest that sRNAs may regulate genomic imprinting. Whereas sRNAs in seedling tissues primarily originate from small class II (cut-and-paste) transposable elements, those in endosperm are more uniformly derived, including sequences from other transposon classes, as well as genic and intergenic regions. Our data indicate that the endosperm exhibits a unique pattern of sRNA expression and suggest that localized hypomethylation of maternal endosperm DNA is conserved in flowering plants.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Parent-of-origin gene expression and its role in seed development have drown a great attention in recent years. Genome-wide analysis has identified hundreds of candidate imprinted genes, a major type of parent-of-origin genes, in rice hybrid endosperms at the stage of 5 days after pollination (dap). However, the expression of these genes in early endosperm have been never confirmed due to technique limitations and the behavior of the imprinted genes in different rice hybridizations are still largely unknown. RESULTS:Here, based on our elaborate technique established previously, the expression patterns of PcG genes in the early stages of endosperm development (within 3 dap), were comprehensively analyzed. We revealed that the free nucleus stage of endosperm development is critical for parent-of-origin gene analysis. The expression of the imprinted genes are highly dynamic, likely corresponding to the critical developmental events during this period. Hybridizations between Oryza sativa japonica and indica showed that the expression patterns of the same imprinted gene could be varied by crossing with different parental cultivars, indicative of their parent-dependent character. There are strong alleles that often showed predominant expression over other alleles regardless of the parental origin, which provides a possible explanation for the cultivar-dependent predominant phenotype in crop hybridizations. In addition, we found that the transcripts of the same gene behave differently, with imprinting or non-imprinting patterns, suggesting the existence of not only imprinted and non-imprinted genes but also imprinted or non-imprinted transcripts, which reveals new aspects of the genomic imprinting. CONCLUSIONS:These findings on the characters of parent-of-origin genes shed light on the understanding the real role of gene imprinting in endosperm development.
Project description:Genomic imprinting, an epigenetic process in mammals and flowering plants, refers to the differential expression of alleles of the same genes in a parent-of-origin-specific manner. In Arabidopsis, imprinting occurs primarily in the endosperm, which nourishes the developing embryo. Recent high-throughput sequencing analyses revealed that more than 200 loci are imprinted in Arabidopsis; however, only a few of these imprinted genes and their imprinting mechanisms have been examined in detail. Whereas most imprinted loci characterized to date are maternally expressed imprinted genes (MEGs), PHERES1 (PHE1) and ADMETOS (ADM) are paternally expressed imprinted genes (PEGs). Here, we report that UPWARD CURLY LEAF1 (UCL1), a gene encoding an E3 ligase that degrades the CURLY LEAF (CLF) polycomb protein, is a PEG. After fertilization, paternally inherited UCL1 is expressed in the endosperm, but not in the embryo. The expression pattern of a ?-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene driven by the UCL1 promoter suggests that the imprinting control region (ICR) of UCL1 is adjacent to a transposable element in the UCL1 5'-upstream region. Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) silences the maternal UCL1 allele in the central cell prior to fertilization and in the endosperm after fertilization. The UCL1 imprinting pattern was not affected in paternal PRC2 mutants. We found unexpectedly that the maternal UCL1 allele is reactivated in the endosperm of Arabidopsis lines with mutations in cytosine DNA METHYLTRANSFERASE 1 (MET1) or the DNA glycosylase DEMETER (DME), which antagonistically regulate CpG methylation of DNA. By contrast, maternal UCL1 silencing was not altered in mutants with defects in non-CpG methylation. Thus, silencing of the maternal UCL1 allele is regulated by both MET1 and DME as well as by PRC2, suggesting that divergent mechanisms for the regulation of PEGs evolved in Arabidopsis.
Project description:Imprinting describes the differential expression of alleles based upon their parent of origin. Deep sequencing of RNAs from maize endosperm and embryo tissue 14 days after pollination was used to identify imprinted genes among a set of ~12,000 genes that were expressed and contained sequence polymorphisms between the B73 and Mo17 genotypes. The analysis of parent-of-origin patterns of expression resulted in the identification of 100 putative imprinted genes in maize endosperm including 54 maternally expressed genes (MEGs) and 46 paternally expressed genes (PEGs). Three of these genes have been previously identified as imprinted while the remaining 97 genes represent novel imprinted maize genes. A genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation identified regions with reduced endosperm DNA methylation in, or near, 19 of the 100 imprinted genes. The reduced levels of DNA methylation in endosperm are caused by hypomethylation of the maternal allele for both MEGs and PEGs in all cases tested. Many of the imprinted genes with reduced DNA methylation levels also show endosperm-specific expression patterns. The imprinted maize genes were compared with imprinted genes identified in genome-wide screens of rice and Arabidopsis and at least 10 examples of conserved imprinting between maize and each of the other species were identified. Methylation profiles across endosperm tissue in B73 and Mo17 were assayed for three biological replications using a custom 2.1M gene-focused NimbleGen array.