Steven E. Jacobsen

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Multicellular eukaryotes produce small RNA molecules (approximately 21-24 nucleotides) of two general types, microRNA (miRNA) and short interfering RNA (siRNA). They collectively function as sequence-specific guides to silence or regulate genes, transposons, and viruses and to modify chromatin and genome structure. Formation or activity of small RNAs(More)
Cytosine DNA methylation is a stable epigenetic mark that is crucial for diverse biological processes, including gene and transposon silencing, imprinting and X chromosome inactivation. Recent findings in plants and animals have greatly increased our understanding of the pathways used to accurately target, maintain and modify patterns of DNA methylation and(More)
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are approximately 21 nucleotide noncoding RNAs produced by Dicer-catalyzed excision from stem-loop precursors. Many plant miRNAs play critical roles in development, nutrient homeostasis, abiotic stress responses, and pathogen responses via interactions with specific target mRNAs. miRNAs are not the only Dicer-derived small RNAs produced(More)
Cytosine DNA methylation is important in regulating gene expression and in silencing transposons and other repetitive sequences. Recent genomic studies in Arabidopsis thaliana have revealed that many endogenous genes are methylated either within their promoters or within their transcribed regions, and that gene methylation is highly correlated with(More)
Cytosine methylation is important for transposon silencing and epigenetic regulation of endogenous genes, although the extent to which this DNA modification functions to regulate the genome is still unknown. Here we report the first comprehensive DNA methylation map of an entire genome, at 35 base pair resolution, using the flowering plant Arabidopsis(More)
Trimethylation of histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3) plays critical roles in regulating animal development, and in several cases, H3K27me3 is also required for the proper expression of developmentally important genes in plants. However, the extent to which H3K27me3 regulates plant genes on a genome-wide scale remains unknown. In addition, it is not clear(More)
The Arabidopsis FWA gene was initially identified from late-flowering epigenetic mutants that show ectopic FWA expression associated with heritable hypomethylation of repeats around transcription starting sites. Here, we show that wild-type FWA displays imprinted (maternal origin-specific) expression in endosperm. The FWA imprint depends on the maintenance(More)
Cytosine DNA methylation is a heritable epigenetic mark present in many eukaryotic organisms. Although DNA methylation likely has a conserved role in gene silencing, the levels and patterns of DNA methylation appear to vary drastically among different organisms. Here we used shotgun genomic bisulfite sequencing (BS-Seq) to compare DNA methylation in eight(More)
Gene silencing in eukaryotes is associated with the formation of heterochromatin, a complex of proteins and DNA that block transcription. Heterochromatin is characterized by the methylation of cytosine nucleotides of the DNA, the methylation of histone H3 at lysine 9 (H3 Lys 9), and the specific binding of heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) to methylated H3(More)
DNA methylation has two essential roles in plants and animals - defending the genome against transposons and regulating gene expression. Recent experiments in Arabidopsis thaliana have begun to address crucial questions about how DNA methylation is established and maintained. One cardinal insight has been the discovery that DNA methylation can be guided by(More)