J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2020, Vol. 62 ›› Issue (2): 201-217.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12809

Special Issue: Epigenetics

• Functional Omics and Systems Biology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

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

Pengfei Dong1†, Xiaoyu Tu1†, Haoxuan Li1, Jianhua Zhang1, Donald Grierson2, Pinghua Li3* and Silin Zhong1*   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology, School of Life Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
    2Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Integrative Biology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
    3State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, College of Agronomy, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai’an 271018, China

    These authors contributed equally to this work.  
     Email: Silin Zhong(silin.zhong@cuhk.edu.hk; Dr. Zhong is fully responsible for the distribution of all materials associated with this article); Pinghua Li(pinghuali@sdau.edu.cn)
  • Received:2019-02-19 Accepted:2019-03-21 Online:2019-03-28 Published:2020-02-01

Abstract: Chromatins are not randomly packaged in the nucleus and their organization plays important roles in transcription regulation, which is best studied in the mammalian models. 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 found that their global A/B compartment partitions are stable across tissues, while local A/B compartment has tissue-specific dynamic associated with differential gene expression. Plant domains are largely stable across tissues, while new domain border formations are often associated with transcriptional activation in the region. Genes inside plant domains are not conserved across species, and lack significant co-expression behavior unlike those in mammalian TADs. Although we only observed chromatin loops between gene islands in the large genomes, the maize loop gene pairs’ syntenic orthologs have shorter physical distances in small genome monocots, suggesting that loops instead of domains might have conserved biological function. Our study showed that plants’ chromatin features might not have conserved biological functions as the mammalian ones.

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