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Transgenerational phenotype aggravation in CAF-1 mutants reveals parent-of-origin specific epigenetic inheritance

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Mozgova, I., Wildhaber, T., Trejo-Arellano, M. S., Fajkus, J., Roszak, P., Köhler, C., et al. (2018). Transgenerational phenotype aggravation in CAF-1 mutants reveals parent-of-origin specific epigenetic inheritance. New Phytologist, 220(3), 908-921. doi:10.1111/nph.15082.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-DED6-E
Abstract
Summary Chromatin is assembled by histone chaperones such as chromatin assembly factor CAF-1. We had noticed that vigor of Arabidopsis thaliana CAF-1 mutants decreased over several generations. Because changes in mutant phenotype severity over generations are unusual, we asked how repeated selfing of Arabidopsis CAF-1 mutants affects phenotype severity. CAF-1 mutant plants of various generations were grown, and developmental phenotypes, transcriptomes and DNA cytosine-methylation profiles were compared quantitatively. Shoot- and root-related growth phenotypes were progressively more affected in successive generations of CAF-1 mutants. Early and late generations of the fasciata (fas)2-4 CAF-1 mutant displayed only limited changes in gene expression, of which increasing upregulation of plant defense-related genes reflects the transgenerational phenotype aggravation. Likewise, global DNA methylation in the sequence context CHG but not CG or CHH (where H = A, T or C) changed over generations in fas2-4. Crossing early and late generation fas2-4 plants established that the maternal contribution to the phenotype severity exceeds the paternal contribution. Together, epigenetic rather than genetic mechanisms underlie the progressive developmental phenotype aggravation in the Arabidopsis CAF-1 mutants and preferred maternal transmission reveals a more efficient reprogramming of epigenetic information in the male than the female germline.