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Regulation of Vegetative Phase Change by SWI2/SNF2 Chromatin Remodeling ATPase BRAHMA.

Xu Y, Guo C, Zhou B, Li C, Wang H, Zheng B, Ding H, Zhu Z, Peragine A, Cui Y, Poethig S, Wu G. (2016) Regulation of Vegetative Phase Change by SWI2/SNF2 Chromatin Remodeling ATPase BRAHMA. Plant Physiology 172(4):2416-2428.

Abstract

Plants progress from a juvenile vegetative phase of development to an adult vegetative phase of development before they enter the reproductive phase. miR156 has been shown to be the master regulator of the juvenile-to-adult transition in plants. However, the mechanism of how miR156 is transcriptionally regulated still remains elusive. In a forward genetic screen, we identified that a mutation in the SWI2/SNF2 chromatin remodeling ATPase BRAHMA (BRM) exhibited an accelerated vegetative phase change phenotype by reducing the expression of miR156, which in turn caused a corresponding increase in the levels of SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN LIKE genes. BRM regulates miR156 expression by directly binding to the MIR156A promoter. Mutations in BRM not only increased occupancy of the -2 and +1 nucleosomes proximal to the transcription start site at the MIR156A locus but also the levels of trimethylated histone H3 at Lys 27. The precocious phenotype of brm mutant was partially suppressed by a second mutation in SWINGER (SWN), but not by a mutation in CURLEY LEAF, both of which are key components of the Polycomb Group Repressive Complex 2 in plants. Our results indicate that BRM and SWN act antagonistically at the nucleosome level to fine-tune the temporal expression of miR156 to regulate vegetative phase change in Arabidopsis.

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