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The Arabidopsis thaliana MEDEA Polycomb group protein controls expression of PHERES1 by parental imprinting


The maternally expressed Arabidopsis thaliana Polycomb group protein MEDEA (MEA) controls expression of the MADS-box gene PHERES1 (PHE1). Here, we show that PHE1 is mainly paternally expressed but maternally repressed and that this maternal repression of PHE1 breaks down in seeds lacking maternal MEA activity. Because Polycomb group proteins control parental imprinting in mammals as well, the independent recruitment of similar protein machineries for the imprinting of genes is a notable example of convergent evolution.

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Figure 1: PHE1 is regulated by genomic imprinting.
Figure 2: MEA is required for repression of the maternal allele of PHE1.


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We thank L. Hennig for comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by the University of Zürich, the Swiss National Science Foundation (to C.K. and U.G.) and the Epigenome Project of the European Union (to U.G.).

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Correspondence to Claudia Köhler.

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Köhler, C., Page, D., Gagliardini, V. et al. The Arabidopsis thaliana MEDEA Polycomb group protein controls expression of PHERES1 by parental imprinting. Nat Genet 37, 28–30 (2005).

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