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O’Malley, RC, Huang SC, Song L, Lewsey MG, Bartlett A, Nery JR, Galli M, Gallavotti A, Ecker JR.  2016.  Cistrome and epicistrome features shape the regulatory DNA landscape. Cell. 165:1280-1292. AbstractWebsite
The cistrome is the complete set of transcription factor (TF) binding sites (cis-elements) in an organism, while an epicistrome incorporates tissue-specific DNA chemical modifications and TF-specific chemical sensitivities into these binding profiles. Robust methods to construct comprehensive cistrome and epicistrome maps are critical for elucidating complex transcriptional networks that underlie growth, behavior, and disease. Here, we describe DNA affinity purification sequencing (DAP-seq), a high-throughput TF binding site discovery method that interrogates genomic DNA with in-vitro-expressed TFs. Using DAP-seq, we defined the Arabidopsis cistrome by resolving motifs and peaks for 529 TFs. Because genomic DNA used in DAP-seq retains 5-methylcytosines, we determined that >75% (248/327) of Arabidopsis TFs surveyed were methylation sensitive, a property that strongly impacts the epicistrome landscape. DAP-seq datasets also yielded insight into the biology and binding site architecture of numerous TFs, demonstrating the value of DAP-seq for cost-effective cistromic and epicistromic annotation in any organism.
Chatterjee, M, Liu Q, Menello C, Galli M, Gallavotti A.  2017.  The Combined Action of Duplicated Boron Transporters Is Required for Maize Growth in Boron Deficient Conditions. Genetics. 206:2041-2051. AbstractWebsite
The micronutrient boron is essential in maintaining the structure of plant cell walls and is critical for high yields in crop species. Boron can move into plants by diffusion or by active and facilitated transport mechanisms. We recently showed that mutations in the maize boron efflux transporter ROTTEN EAR (RTE) cause severe developmental defects and sterility. RTE is part of a small gene family containing five additional members (RTE2-RTE6) that show tissue specific expression. The close paralogous gene RTE2 encodes a protein with 95% amino acid identity with RTE and is similarly expressed in shoot and root cells surrounding the vasculature. Despite sharing similar functions with RTE, mutations in the RTE2 gene do not cause growth defects in the shoot, even in boron deficient conditions. However, rte2 mutants strongly enhance the rte phenotype in soils with low boron content, producing shorter plants that fail to form all reproductive structures. The joint action of RTE and RTE2 is also required in root development. These defects can be fully complemented by supplying boric acid, suggesting that diffusion or additional transport mechanisms overcome active boron transport deficiencies in the presence of an excess of boron. Overall, these results suggest that RTE2 and RTE function are essential for maize shoot and root growth in boron deficient conditions.
Gallavotti, A, Long JA, Stanfield S, Yang X, Jackson D, Vollbrecht E, Schmidt RJ.  2010.  The Control of Axillary Meristem fate in the Maize Ramosa Pathway. Development. 137:2849-2856. AbstractWebsite
Plant axillary meristems are composed of highly organized, self-renewing stem cells that produce indeterminate branches or terminate in differentiated structures, such as the flowers. These opposite fates, dictated by both genetic and environmental factors, determine interspecific differences in the architecture of plants. The Cys(2)-His(2) zinc-finger transcription factor RAMOSA1 (RA1) regulates the fate of most axillary meristems during the early development of maize inflorescences, the tassel and the ear, and has been implicated in the evolution of grass architecture. Mutations in RA1 or any other known members of the ramosa pathway, RAMOSA2 and RAMOSA3, generate highly branched inflorescences. Here, we report a genetic screen for the enhancement of maize inflorescence branching and the discovery of a new regulator of meristem fate: the RAMOSA1 ENHANCER LOCUS2 (REL2) gene. rel2 mutants dramatically increase the formation of long branches in ears of both ra1 and ra2 mutants. REL2 encodes a transcriptional co-repressor similar to the TOPLESS protein of Arabidopsis, which is known to maintain apical-basal polarity during embryogenesis. REL2 is capable of rescuing the embryonic defects of the Arabidopsis topless-1 mutant, suggesting that REL2 also functions as a transcriptional co-repressor throughout development. We show by genetic and molecular analyses that REL2 physically interacts with RA1, indicating that the REL2/RA1 transcriptional repressor complex antagonizes the formation of indeterminate branches during maize inflorescence development. Our results reveal a novel mechanism for the control of meristem fate and the architecture of plants.