Discovery of enzymes that control organ regeneration in plants

February 28, 2023

A joint research group from the University of Tokyo, Tokyo University of Science, and RIKEN CSRS has succeeded in identifying a histone deacetylase (Histone Deacetylase 19: HDA19) that properly controls the expression of genes needed to regenerate their organs in plants. Histone proteins crucial for efficientpackagingofDNA in the cell are subjected to a diverse array of chemical modification at N-termini called histone-tail. When lysine residues of histones are acetylated, the gene expression are activated (ON), and when deacetylated, it is turned off. Focused on more than 20 isoforms of histone deacetylases in the Arabidopsis genome, the research group investigated them by screening mutants deficient in its function, and as a result, identified enzymes that control organ regeneration. One of the enzymes, HDA19, was found to be working on the organ primordia that form leaves and stems, and by removing the acetyl group, it was turning off the expression of 68 genes at the appropriate time for organ regeneration.

It is necessary to switch gene expression on and off through the course of regeneration: the gene that works in the initial stage, the gene that works next, and then the gene that works subsequently. If the switching does not work properly, organ regeneration will not occur, or an organ with an abnormal shape will be regenerated. The discovery of an enzyme that controls the “off” side of this switching should pave the way for controlling plant regeneration at the proper timing by controlling this enzyme activity. Artificial control of HDA19 enzymatic activity is expected to help with the development of novel technology for controlling organ regeneration of agriculturally and horticulturally important plants.


Original article
PNAS Nexus doi:10.1093/pnasnexus/pgad002
H. Temman, T. Sakamoto, M. Ueda, K. Sugimoto, M. Migihashi, K. Yamamoto, Y. Inui, H. Sato, M. K. Shibuta, N. Nishino, T. Nakamura, H. Shimada, Y. Y. Taniguchi, S. Takeda, M. Aida, T. Suzuki, M. Seki, S. Matsunaga,
"Histone deacetylation regulates de novo shoot regeneration".
Motoaki Seki; Team Leader
Minoru Ueda; Research Scientist
Plant Genomic Network Research Team