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Tissue-specific Hi-C analyses of rice, foxtail millet and maize suggest non-canonical function of plant chromatin domains

By Pengfei Dong, Xiaoyu Tu, Haoxuan Li, Jianhua Zhang, Donald Grierson, Pinghua Li, Silin Zhong

Posted 05 Mar 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/567883 (published DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12809)

Chromatins are not randomly packaged in the nucleus and their organization plays important roles in transcription regulation. Using in situ Hi-C, we have compared the 3D chromatin architectures of rice mesophyll and endosperm, foxtail millet bundle sheath and mesophyll, and maize bundle sheath, mesophyll and endosperm tissues. We have also profiled their DNA methylation, open chromatin, histone modification and gene expression to investigate whether chromatin structural dynamics are associated with epigenome features changes. We found that plant global A/B compartment partitions are stable across tissues, while local A/B compartment has tissue-specific dynamic that is associated with differential gene expression. Plant domains are largely stable across tissues, while rare domain border changes are often associated with gene activation. Genes inside plant domains are not conserved across species, and lack significant co-expression behavior unlike those in mammalian cells. When comparing synteny gene pairs, we found those maize genes involved in gene island chromatin loops have shorter genomic distances in smaller genomes without gene island loops such as rice and foxtail millet, suggesting that they have conserved functions. Our study revealed that the 3D configuration of the plant chromatin is also complex and dynamic with unique features that need to be further examined.

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