Integrated analysis and transcript abundance modelling of H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 in developing secondary xylem

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 15
  • SDG 13
  • Abstract:

    Despite the considerable contribution of xylem development (xylogenesis) to plant biomass accumulation, its epigenetic regulation is poorly understood. Furthermore, the relative contributions of histone modifications to transcriptional regulation is not well studied in plants. We investigated the biological relevance of H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 in secondary xylem development using ChIPseq and their association with transcript levels among other histone modifications in woody and herbaceous models. In developing secondary xylem of the woody model Eucalyptus grandis, H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 genomic spans were distinctly associated with xylogenesis-related processes, with (late) lignification pathways enriched for putative bivalent domains, but not early secondary cell wall polysaccharide deposition. H3K27me3-occupied genes, of which 753 (~31%) are novel targets, were enriched for transcriptional regulation and flower development and had significant preferential expression in roots. Linear regression models of the ChIP-seq profiles predicted ~50% of transcript abundance measured with strand-specific RNA-seq, confirmed in a parallel analysis in Arabidopsis where integration of seven additional histone modifications each contributed smaller proportions of unique information to the predictive models. This study uncovers the biological importance of histone modification antagonism and genomic span in xylogenesis and quantifies for the first time the relative correlations of histone modifications with transcript abundance in plants.