A Caltech Library Service

Ectopic hypermethylation of flower-specific genes in Arabidopsis

Jacobsen, Steven E. and Sakai, Hajime and Finnegan, E. Jean and Cao, Xiaofeng and Meyerowitz, Elliot M. (2000) Ectopic hypermethylation of flower-specific genes in Arabidopsis. Current Biology, 10 (4). pp. 179-186. ISSN 0960-9822. doi:10.1016/S0960-9822(00)00324-9.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Background: Arabidopsis mutations causing genome-wide hypomethylation are viable but display a number of specific developmental abnormalities, including some that resemble known floral homeotic mutations. We previously showed that one of the developmental abnormalities present in an antisense-METHYLTRANSFERASEI (METI) transgenic line resulted from ectopic hypermethylation of the SUPERMAN gene. Results: Here, we investigate the extent to which hypermethylation of SUPERMAN occurs in several hypomethylation mutants, and describe methylation effects at a second gene, AGAMOUS. SUPERMAN gene hypermethylation occurred at a high frequency in several mutants that cause overall decreases in genomic DNA methylation. The hypermethylation pattern was largely similar in the different mutant backgrounds. Genetic analysis suggests that hypermethylation most likely arose either during meiosis or somatically in small sectors of the plant. A second floral development gene, AGAMOUS, also became hypermethylated and silenced in an Arabidopsis antisense-METI line. Conclusions: These results suggest that ectopic hypermethylation of specific genes in mutant backgrounds that show overall decreases in methylation may be a widespread phenomenon that could explain many of the developmental defects seen in Arabidopsis methylation mutants. This resembles a phenomenon seen in cancer cells, which can simultaneously show genome-wide hypomethylation and hypermethylation of specific genes. Comparison of the methylated sequences in SUPERMAN and AGAMOUS suggests that hypermethylation could involve DNA secondary structures formed by pyrimidine-rich sequences.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Meyerowitz, Elliot M.0000-0003-4798-5153
Additional Information:© 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. Received: 22 October 1999. Revised: 17 December 1999. Accepted: 17 December 1999. Published: 4 February 2000. We thank Eric Richards for providing seeds of the ddm1-2 and ddm2-1 mutants, Jurek Paszkowski and Ortrun Mittelsten Scheid for seeds of the som mutants, and Steve Smith and Juli Feigon for helpful discussions. This work was supported by California Division — American Cancer Society Fellowship #1-14-98 and a Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation/UCLA seed grant ACS #IRG 78-001-21 (to S.E.J.) and NIH grant GM45697 and a W. M. Keck Foundation Grant for Basic Medical Research to (E.M.M.).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
American Cancer Society, California Division1-14-98
American Cancer SocietyIRG 78-001-21
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Arabidopsis; Methyltransferase; AGAMOUS SUPERMAN gene; Hypermethylation
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20161212-160153777
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Steven E Jacobsen, Hajime Sakai, E.Jean Finnegan, Xiaofeng Cao, Elliot M Meyerowitz, Ectopic hypermethylation of flower-specific genes in Arabidopsis, Current Biology, Volume 10, Issue 4, 15 February 2000, Pages 179-186, ISSN 0960-9822, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:72738
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:13 Dec 2016 02:29
Last Modified:11 Nov 2021 05:06

Repository Staff Only: item control page