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Letter
Nature Genetics 38, 706 - 710 (2006)
Published online: 7 May 2006; | doi:10.1038/ng1795

Epigenetic maintenance of the vernalized state in Arabidopsis thaliana requires LIKE HETEROCHROMATIN PROTEIN 1

Sibum Sung1, 5, Yuehui He1, 4, 5, Tifani W Eshoo1, Yosuke Tamada1, Lianna Johnson2, Kenji Nakahigashi3, 4, Koji Goto3, 4, Steve E Jacobsen2 & Richard M Amasino1

1  Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

2  Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology, and Molecular Biology Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.

3  Research Institute for Biological Sciences, Okayama, 716-1241 Japan.

4  Present addresses: Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore, Science Drive 4, Singapore 117543 (Y.H.); Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Yamagata 997-0017, Japan (K.N. and K.G.).

5  These authors contributed equally to this work.

Correspondence should be addressed to Richard M Amasino amasino@biochem.wisc.edu

Vernalization is the process by which sensing a prolonged exposure to winter cold leads to competence to flower in the spring. In winter annual Arabidopsis thaliana accessions, flowering is suppressed in the fall by expression of the potent floral repressor FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC)1. Vernalization promotes flowering via epigenetic repression of FLC 2. Repression is accompanied by a series of histone modifications of FLC chromatin that include dimethylation of histone H3 at Lys9 (H3K9) and Lys27 (H3K27)3, 4. Here, we report that A. thaliana LIKE HETEROCHROMATIN PROTEIN 1 (LHP1) is necessary to maintain the epigenetically repressed state of FLC upon return to warm conditions typical of spring. LHP1 is enriched at FLC chromatin after prolonged exposure to cold, and LHP1 activity is needed to maintain the increased levels of H3K9 dimethylation at FLC chromatin that are characteristic of the vernalized state.


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Nature Genetics
ISSN: 1061-4036
EISSN: 1546-1718
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