DNA methylation reprogramming during sexual reproduction in land plants

Walker, James (2019) DNA methylation reprogramming during sexual reproduction in land plants. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Chromatin modifications are important for transcriptional regulation and development in eukaryotes. One such modification, DNA methylation, is extensively reprogrammed to regulate mammalian development. However, we are only beginning to understand the changes in methylation during the development of plants and the importance of those changes for cell function.

This thesis focuses on when, how and why dynamic DNA methylation appears during the sexual reproduction of land plants. Firstly, a specific gene-targeted methylation profile observed in the male sexual lineage of Arabidopsis thaliana is described. It is established that this methylation is caused by the RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) pathway and that this methylation has implications for gene regulation and development. Secondly, a detailed mechanistic understanding of the specific methylation is explored to establish that gene-targeted methylation in Arabidopsis is likely due to small RNA produced at canonical RdDM targets. Finally, the methylation profiles during sexual development in the basal land plant, Marchantia polymorpha, are considered. A similar gene-targeted methylation profile is observed in the meiotic phase of development of this plant, separated from A. thaliana by 450 million years, while a unique and distinctive global methylation pattern occurs during the late stages of sperm maturation.

Together, these works provide a fundamental understanding of DNA methylation dynamics in plant sexual development.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2023 11:00
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2023 11:00
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/93968

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