Study : Reconstructing de novo silencing of an active plant retrotransposon: dynamics, mechanisms, biological implications
Reconstructing de novo silencing of an active plant retrotransposon: dynamics, mechanisms, biological implications
In plants, maintenance-methylation mediated by METHYLTRANSFERASE-1 (MET1), siRNA-directed de-novo methylation, and chromatin remodeling by DECREASE IN DNA METHYLATION -1 (DDM1) promote transcriptional gene-silencing of transposable elements (TEs). This process is mostly investigated at steady states reflecting how long-established silent conditions are maintained, faithfully re-iterated or temporarily modified during growth, stress and over generations. How invasive TEs are detected and silenced de novo, however, remains largely unknown. Using inbred lineages of hybrid Arabidopsis epigenomes combining wild-type and met1 or ddm1 chromosomes, we have deciphered the timing, spatial distribution and mechanisms underpinning the proliferation and eventual demise of the endogenous retrotransposon évadé (EVD). Both developmental and molecular features of EVD biology, including a remarkable ability to evade RNA interference, ultimately contribute to its silencing over multiple generations. The underlying processes are accompanied by widespread diversification of the Arabidopsis genome and de-novo epiallelism creating an extensive reservoir of selectable and potentially adaptive traits. Overall design: Differential expression of EVADE small RNAs between three generations of one specific Col0 met1 derived EpiRIL.