UBC Faculty Research and Publications

SDG102, a H3K36-Methyltransferase-Encoding Gene, Plays Pleiotropic Roles in Growth and Development of Maize (Zea mays L.) Li, Yongjian; Sun, Weifeng; Wang, Zhenhui; Wan, Chang; Zhang, Jun; Qi, Xin; Zhang, Jian


Although histone lysine methylation has been studied in thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh.) and rice (Oryza sativa L.) in recent years, its function in maize (Zea mays L.) remains poorly characterized. To better understand the function of histone lysine methylation in maize, SDG102, a H3 lysine 36 (H3K36) methylase, was chosen for functional characterization using overexpressed and knockout transgenic plants. SDG102-deficiency in maize caused multiple phenotypes including yellow leaves in seedlings, late-flowering, and increased adult plant height, while the overexpression of SDG102 led to reduced adult plant height. The key flowering genes, ZCN8/ZCN7 and MADS4/MADA67, were downregulated in SDG102-deficient plants. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) experiments showed that H3 lysine 36 trimethylation (H3K36me3) levels were reduced at these loci. Perturbation of SDG102 expression caused the misexpression of multiple genes. Interestingly, the overexpression or knockout of SDG102 also led to genome-wide decreases and increases in the H3K36me3 levels, respectively. Together, our results suggest that SDG102 is a methyltransferase that catalyzes the trimethylation of H3K36 of many genes across the maize genome, which are involved in multiple biological processes including those controlling flowering time.

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