Gene Expression Regulatory Mechanism Analyzed in Chinese Cabbage

July 12, 2021

A research group from Kobe University, RIKEN CSRS, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) have identified the roles of H3K4me3 and H3K36me3, chemical modifications of histones, important for gene expression regulation, in Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L.).

For two lines of Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L.), the average expression levels of genes with H3K4me3 (~17,000 genes) and H3K36me3 (~12,000 gene) modifications were compared with the average expression levels of all genes (~40,000 genes). As a result, genes with H3K4me3 and H3K36me3 modifications showed higher expression levels than all genes. The trend was particularly seen in the genes with H3K36me3. This indicates that modifications of H3K4me3 and H3K36me3 play a role in activating gene expression. Furthermore, the group also found that genes with H3K4me3 and H3K36me3 modifications tended to have low tissue-specific gene expression (indicating constitutive gene expression). The group also found some genes with bivalent transcriptionally active and repressive histone modifications such as H3K4me3 and H3K27me3.

The group is planning to investigate the functions of the histone modifications in agricultural traits and stress responses in Chinese cabbage.

Original article
Frontiers in Plant Science doi:10.3389/fpls.2021.659634
H. Mehraj, S. Takahashi, N. Miyaji, A. Akter, Y. Suzuki, M. Seki, E. S. Dennis, R. Fujimoto,
"Characterization of histone H3 lysine 4 and 36 tri-methylation in Brassica rapa L. ".
Motoaki Seki
Team Leader
Plant Genomic Network Research Team