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Functions of AtMSI proteins in controlling chromatin structures required for development

English title Functions of AtMSI proteins in controlling chromatin structures required for development
Applicant Hennig Lars
Number 104238
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Departement Umweltsystemwissenschaften ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Biochemistry
Start/End 01.05.2004 - 30.04.2007
Approved amount 216'785.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Embryology, Developmental Biology

Keywords (5)

chromatin; development; Arabidopsis; differentiation; transcription

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
MSI1-like proteins are conserved in yeast, animals and plants, in which they participate in complexes involved in chromatin dynamics. Although MSI1-like proteins are well-characterised biochemical, their function in the development of multicellular eukaryotes is not well understood. We use Arabidopsis as a model species to investigate in vivo functions of MSI1-like proteins. To this end, we make use of mutants for Arabidopsis MSI1-like proteins, study their development at the histological level, use cytogenetic techniques to probe sub-nuclear architecture and perform transcriptional profiling with Affymetrix GeneChips to identify novel target genes.Important results include:- MSI1 is a novel flowering time gene that is needed for optimal activation of SOC1 by an FLC-independent mechanism.- Although, both reduced MSI1 and MSI4 levels delay flowering in Arabidopsis, both genes act in genetically parallel pathways, and only msi4 can be rescued by flc.- MSI1 is part of chromatin assembly factor CAF-1, and CAF-1 is needed for full compaction of heterochromatin, but not for heterochromatic gene silencing.- CAF-1 is needed during multiple stages of sporophytic development and is part of a endoreduplication-independent pathway for trichome branching.- AGL19 is a direct target gene of an Arabidopsis PRC2-like complex. This complex represses AGL19 expression in the absence of vernalization. After vernalization, AGL19 is expressed and promotes flowering. Because AGL19 acts genetically independently of FLC, AGL19 functions in the poorly characterized FLC-independent vernalization pathway. The results of this study do not only determine functions of MSI1 in Arabidopsis but also help to reveal the mechanisms that link chromatin assembly and maintenance to development of multicellular eukaryotes in general.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
116060 Control of development by Arabidopsis MSI1 - Identification of target genes and protein partners 01.05.2007 Project funding (Div. I-III)