The maize pericarp color1 (p1) gene encodes a Myb transcription factor that regulates the accumulation of 3-deoxyflavonoid pigments called phlobaphenes. The Unstable factor for orange1 (Ufo1) is a dominant epigenetic modifier of the p1 that results in ectopic pigmentation in pericarp. Presence of Ufo1-1 correlates with pleiotropic growth and developmental defects. To investigate the Ufo1-1-induced changes in the proteome, we conducted comparative proteomics analysis of P1-wr; Ufo1-1 pericarps using the 2-D DIGE and iTRAQ techniques. Most of the identified proteins were found to be involved in glycolysis, protein synthesis and modification, flavonoid and lignin biosynthesis and defense responses. Further, immunoblot analysis of internode protein extracts demonstrated that caffeoyl CoA O-methyltransferase (COMT) is post-transcriptionally down regulated in P1-wr; Ufo1-1 plants. Consistent with the down regulation of COMT, the concentrations of p-coumaric acid, syringaldehydes, and lignin are reduced in P1-wr; Ufo1-1 internodes. The reductions in these phenylpropanoids correlate with the bent stalk and stunted growth of P1-wr; Ufo1-1 plants. Finally, over-expression of the p1 in transgenic plants is also correlated with a lodging phenotype and reduced COMT expression. We conclude that ectopic expression of p1 can result in developmental defects that are correlated with altered regulation and synthesis of phenylpropanoid compounds including lignin.
In maize, mutations in the pr1 locus lead to the accumulation of pelargonidin (red) rather than cyanidin (purple) pigments in aleurone cells where the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway is active. We characterized pr1 mutation and isolated a putative F3H encoding gene (Zmf3h1) and showed by segregation analysis that the red kernel phenotype is linked to this gene. Genetic mapping using SNP markers confirms its position on chromosome 5L. Furthermore, genetic complementation experiments using a CaMV 35S::ZmF3H1 promoter-gene construct established that the encoded protein product was sufficient to perform a 3-hydroxylation reaction. The Zmf3h1-specific transcripts were detected in floral and vegetative tissues of Pr1 plants and were absent in pr1. Four pr1 alleles were characterized: two carry a 24 TA dinucleotide repeat insertion in the 5-upstream promoter region, a third has a 17-bp deletion near the TATA box, and a fourth contains a Ds insertion in exon1. Genetic and transcription assays demonstrated that the pr1 gene is under the regulatory control of anthocyanin transcription factors red1 and colorless1. The cloning and characterization of pr1 completes the molecular identification of all genes encoding structural enzymes of the anthocyanin pathway of maize.
Plants regenerated from tissue culture often display somaclonal variation, that is, somatic and often meiotically heritable phenotypic variation that can result from both genetic and epigenetic modifications. To better understand the molecular basis of somaclonal variation, we have characterized four unique tissue culture-derived epialleles of the pericarp color1 (p1) gene of maize (Zea mays L.). The progenitor p1 allele, P1-wr, is composed of multiple head-to-tail tandemly arranged copies of the complete gene unit and specifies brick-red phlobaphene pigmentation in the cob glumes. The novel epialleles identified in progeny plants regenerated from tissue culture showed partial to complete loss of p1 function indicated by pink or colorless cob glumes. Loss of pigmentation was correlated with nearly complete loss of p1 steady-state transcripts. DNA gel-blot analysis and genomic bisulfite sequencing showed that silencing of the epialleles was associated with hypermethylation of a region in the second intron of P1-wr. Presence of Unstable factor for orange1 (Ufo1), an unlinked epigenetic modifier of p1, restored the cob glume pigmentation in the silenced alleles, and such reactivation was accompanied by hypomethylation of the p1 sequence. This observation confirmed that silencing of the epialleles is indeed due to epigenetic modifications and that the p1 epialleles were capable of functioning in the presence of the correct trans-acting factors. While the low-copy regions of the genome generally undergo hypomethylation during tissue culture, our study shows that the tandemly repeated genes are also prone to hypermethylation and epigenetic silencing.
In Sorghum bicolor, a group of phytoalexins are induced at the site of infection by Colletotrichum sublineolum, the anthracnose fungus. These compounds, classified as 3-deoxyanthocyanidins, have structural similarities to the precursors of phlobaphenes. Sorghum yellow seed1 (y1) encodes a MYB transcription factor that regulates phlobaphene biosynthesis. Using the candystripe1 transposon mutagenesis system in sorghum, we have isolated functional revertants as well as loss-of-function alleles of y1. These near-isogenic lines of sorghum show that, compared to functionally revertant alleles, loss of y1 lines do not accumulate phlobaphenes. Molecular characterization of two null y1 alleles shows a partial internal deletion in the y1 sequence. These null alleles, designated as y1-ww1 and y1-ww4, do not accumulate 3-deoxyanthocyanidins when challenged with the nonpathogenic fungus Cochliobolus heterostrophus. Further, as compared to the wild-type allele, both y1-ww1 and y1-ww4 show greater susceptibility to the pathogenic fungus C. sublineolum. In fungal-inoculated wild-type seedlings, y1 and its target flavonoid structural genes are coordinately expressed. However, in y1-ww1 and y1-ww4 seedlings where y1 is not expressed, steady-state transcripts of its target genes could not be detected. Cosegregation analysis showed that the functional y1 gene is genetically linked with resistance to C. sublineolum. Overall results demonstrate that the accumulation of sorghum 3-deoxyanthocyanidin phytoalexins and resistance to C. sublineolum in sorghum require a functional y1 gene.
The pericarp color1 (p1) gene encodes for a myb-homologous protein that regulates the biosynthesis of brick-red flavonoid pigments called phlobahpenes. The pattern of pigmentation on the pericarp and cob glumes depends upon the allelic constitution at the p1 locus. p1 alleles have unique gene structure and copy number which have been proposed to influence the epigenetic regulation of tissue-specific gene expression. For example, the presence of tandem-repeats has been correlated with the suppression of pericarp pigmentation though a mechanism associated with increased DNA methylation.
Maize pericarp color1 (p1) gene, which regulates phlobaphene biosynthesis in kernel pericarp and cob glumes, offers an excellent genetic system to study tissue-specific gene regulation. A multicopy p1 allele, P1-wr (white pericarp/red cob) is epigenetically regulated. Hypomethylation of P1-wr in the presence of Unstable factor for orange1 (Ufo1), leads to ectopic pigmentation of pericarp and other organs. The Ufo1-induced phenotypes show incomplete penetrance and poor expressivity: gain of pigmentation is observed only in a subset of plants carrying Ufo1 mutation, and the extent of pigmentation is highly variable. We show that Ufo1 induces progressive hypomethylation of P1-wr repeats over generations. After five generations of exposure to Ufo1, a 30-40% decrease in CG and CNG methylation was observed in an upstream enhancer and an intron region of P1-wr. Interestingly, such hypomethylation correlated with an increase in penetrance of the Ufo1-induced pigmentation phenotype from approximately 27 to 61%. Expressivity of the Ufo1-induced phenotype also improved markedly as indicated by increased uniformity of pericarp pigmentation in the later generations. Furthermore, the poor expressivity of the Uo1 is associated with mosaic methylation patterns of the P1-wr upstream enhancer in individual cells and distinct P1-wr gene copies. Finally, comparison of methylation among different tissues indicated that Ufo1 induces rapid CG and CNG hypomethylation of P1-wr repeats during plant development. Together, these data indicate that the poor penetrance and expressivity of Ufo1-induced phenotypes is caused by mosaicism of methylation, and progressive mitotic hypomethylation leads to improved meiotic heritability of the mutant phenotype. In duplicated genomes like maize, loss of an epigenetic regulator may produce mosaic patterns due to redundancy of epigenetic regulators and their target sequences. We show here that multiple developmental cycles may be required for complete disruption of suppressed epigenetic states and appearance of heritable phenotypes.
To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying paramutation, we examined the role of Unstable factor for orange1 (Ufo1) in maintaining paramutation at the maize pericarp color1 (p1) and booster1 (b1) loci. Genetic tests revealed that the Ufo1-1 mutation disrupted silencing associated with paramutation at both p1 and b1. The level of up regulation achieved at b1 was lower than that at p1, suggesting differences in the role Ufo1-1 plays at these loci. We characterized the interaction of Ufo1-1 with two silenced p1 epialleles, P1-rr and P1-pr(TP), that were derived from a common P1-rr ancestor. Both alleles are phenotypically indistinguishable, but differ in their paramutagenic activity; P1-rr is paramutagenic to P1-rr, while P1-pr(TP) is non-paramutagenic. Analysis of cytosine methylation revealed striking differences within an enhancer fragment that is required for paramutation; P1-rr exhibited increased methylation at symmetric (CG and CHG) and asymmetric (CHH) sites, while P1-pr(TP) was methylated only at symmetric sites. Both silenced alleles had higher levels of dimethylation of lysine 9 on histone 3 (H3K9me2), an epigenetic mark of silent chromatin, in the enhancer region. Both epialleles were reactivated in the Ufo1-1 background; however, reactivation of P1-rr was associated with dramatic loss of symmetric and asymmetric cytosine methylation in the enhancer, while methylation of up-regulated P1-pr(TP) was not affected. Interestingly, Ufo1-1-mediated reactivation of both alleles was accompanied with loss of H3K9me2 mark from the enhancer region. Therefore, while earlier studies have shown correlation between H3K9me2 and DNA methylation, our study shows that these two epigenetic marks are uncoupled in the Ufo1-1-reactivated p1 alleles. Furthermore, while CHH methylation at the enhancer region appears to be the major distinguishing mark between paramutagenic and non-paramutagenic p1 alleles, H3K9me2 mark appears to be important for maintaining epigenetic silencing.
The maize (Zea mays) red aleurone1 (pr1) encodes a CYP450-dependent flavonoid 3-hydroxylase (ZmF3H1) required for the biosynthesis of purple and red anthocyanin pigments. We previously showed that Zmf3h1 is regulated by C1 (Colorless1) and R1 (Red1) transcription factors. The current study demonstrates that, in addition to its role in anthocyanin biosynthesis, the Zmf3h1 gene also participates in the biosynthesis of 3-deoxyflavonoids and phlobaphenes that accumulate in maize pericarps, cob glumes, and silks. Biosynthesis of 3-deoxyflavonoids is regulated by P1 (Pericarp color1) and is independent from the action of C1 and R1 transcription factors.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.