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Eukaryotic genomes consist to a significant extent of retrotransposons that are suppressed by host epigenetic mechanisms, preventing their uncontrolled propagation. However, it is not clear how this is achieved. Here we show that in Arabidopsis seedlings subjected to heat stress, a copia-type retrotransposon named ONSEN (Japanese 'hot spring') not only(More)
Constitutive heterochromatin comprising the centromeric and telomeric parts of chromosomes includes DNA marked by high levels of methylation associated with histones modified by repressive marks. These epigenetic modifications silence transcription and ensure stable inheritance of this inert state. Although environmental cues can alter epigenetic marks and(More)
It is commonly observed that onset or release of transcriptional gene silencing (TGS) correlates with alteration of repressive epigenetic marks. The TGS regulator MOM1 in Arabidopsis is exceptional since it regulates transcription in intermediate heterochromatin with only minor changes in epigenetic marks. We have isolated an enhancer of the mom1 mutation(More)
The heterochromatic regions around centromeres of animal and plant chromosomes are composed of tandem repetitive sequences, interspersed with transposons and transposon derivatives. These sequences are largely transcriptionally silent and highly methylated, and are associated with specifically modified histones. Although embedded in heterochromatin,(More)
Transcription is known to be regulated by given chromatin states, distinguished as transcriptionally active euchromatin and silent heterochromatin. In plants, silencing in heterochromatin is associated with hypermethylation of DNA and specific covalent modifications of histone H3. Several lines of evidence have suggested that maintenance of DNA methylation(More)
In the Arabidopsis accession Columbia, 5S rDNA is located in the pericentromeric heterochromatin of chromosomes 3, 4, and 5. Both a major and some minor 5S rRNA species are expressed from chromosomes 4 and 5, whereas the genes on chromosome 3 are not transcribed. Here, we show that 5S rDNA methylation is reduced in 2-day-old seedlings versus 4-day-old or(More)
The Arabidopsis thaliana genome comprises around 1,000 copies of 5S rRNA genes encoding both major and minor 5S rRNAs. In mature wild-type leaves, the minor 5S rRNA genes are silent. Using different mutants of DNA methyltransferases (met1, cmt3 and met1 cmt3), components of the RNAi pathway (ago4) or post-translational histone modifier (hda6/sil1), we show(More)
5S ribosomal DNA (5S rDNA) is organized in tandem repeats on chromosomes 3, 4 and 5 in Arabidopsis thaliana. One part of the 5S rDNA is located within the heterochromatic chromocenters, and the other fraction forms loops with euchromatic features that emanate from the chromocenters. We investigated whether the A. thaliana heterochromatin, and particularly(More)
Thus far, no transcription factor IIIA (TFIIIA) from higher plants has been cloned and characterized. We have cloned and characterized TFIIIA and ribosomal protein L5 from Arabidopsis thaliana. Primary sequence comparison revealed a high divergence of AtTFIIIA and a relatively high conservation of AtL5 when compared with other organisms. The AtTFIIIA cDNA(More)
Ribosome biogenesis is critical for eukaryotic cells and requires coordinated synthesis of the protein and rRNA moieties of the ribosome, which are therefore highly regulated. 5S ribosomal RNA, an essential component of the large ribosomal subunit, is transcribed by RNA polymerase III and specifically requires transcription factor IIIA (TFIIIA). To obtain(More)