The effects of heat induction and the siRNA biogenesis pathway on the transgenerational transposition of ONSEN, a copia-like retrotransposon in Arabidopsis thaliana

Wataru Matsunaga, Akie Kobayashi, Atsushi Kato, Hidetaka Ito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Environmental stress influences genetic and epigenetic regulation in plant genomes. We previously reported that heat stress activated a copia-like retrotransposon named ONSEN. To investigate the heat sensitivity and transgenerational activation of ONSEN, we analyzed the stress response by temperature shift and multiple heat stress treatments. ONSEN was activated at 37°C, and the newly inserted ONSEN was transcriptionally active and mobile to the next generation subjected to heat stress, indicating that the regulation of ONSEN is independent of positional effects on the chromosome. Reciprocal crosses with activated ONSEN revealed that the transgenerational transposition was inherited from both sexes, indicating that the transposition is suppressed independently of gametophytic regulation. We showed previously that ONSEN was transposed in mutants deficient in small interfering RNA (siRNA) biogenesis, including nrpd2 and rdr2, but not dcl3. To define the functional redundancy of Dicer-like (DCL) proteins in Arabidopsis, we analyzed ONSEN activation in mutants deficient in DCL proteins, including dcl2, dcl3 and dcl4. ONSEN was nearly immobile in a single Dicer mutant; however, some transgenerational transpositions were observed in dcl2/dcl3/dcl4 triple mutants subjected to heat stress. This indicated that the Dicer family is redundant for ONSEN transposition. To examine the activation of ONSEN in undifferentiated cells, ONSEN transcripts and synthesized DNA were analyzed in heat-stressed callus tissue. In contrast to vegetative tissue, high accumulation of the transcripts and amplified DNA copies of ONSEN were detected in callus. This result indicated that ONSEN activation is controlled by cell-specific regulatory mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)824-833
Number of pages10
JournalPlant and Cell Physiology
Volume53
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 May
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Arabidopsis
  • Epigenetic
  • Heat-stress
  • Transposon
  • siRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

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