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Epigenetic marks in the Hyacinthus orientalis L. mature pollen grain and during in vitro pollen tube growth

Kozłowska, Marlena, Niedojadło, Katarzyna, Brzostek, Marta, Bednarska-Kozakiewicz, Elżbieta
Plant reproduction 2016 v.29 no.3 pp. 251-263
DNA methylation, Hyacinthus orientalis, chromatin, epigenetics, gametogenesis, gametophytes, gene expression, gene expression regulation, genome, histone deacetylase, histones, males, metabolism, pollen, pollen tubes, sexual reproduction, spatial variation, spermatozoa, vegetative cells
During the sexual reproduction of flowering plants, epigenetic control of gene expression and genome integrity by DNA methylation and histone modifications plays an important role in male gametogenesis. In this study, we compared the chromatin modification patterns of the generative, sperm cells and vegetative nuclei during Hyacinthus orientalis male gametophyte development. Changes in the spatial and temporal distribution of 5-methylcytosine, acetylated histone H4 and histone deacetylase indicated potential differences in the specific epigenetic state of all analysed cells, in both the mature cellular pollen grains and the in vitro growing pollen tubes. Interestingly, we observed unique localization of chromatin modifications in the area of the generative and the vegetative nuclei located near each other in the male germ unit, indicating the precise mechanisms of gene expression regulation in this region. We discuss the differences in the patterns of the epigenetic marks along with our previous reports of nuclear metabolism and changes in chromatin organization and activity in hyacinth male gametophyte cells. We also propose that this epigenetic status of the analysed nuclei is related to the different acquired fates and biological functions of these cells.