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Histone modification and activation by SOC1-like and drought stress-related transcription factors may regulate AcSVP2 expression during kiwifruit winter dormancy

Wu, Rongmei, Wang, Tianchi, Richardson, Annette C., Allan, Andrew C., Macknight, Richard C., Varkonyi-Gasic, Erika
Plant science 2019 v.281 pp. 242-250
Actinidia chinensis, acetylation, budbreak, buds, cultivars, dormancy, drought, gene overexpression, genes, genetically modified organisms, histones, kiwifruit, loci, messenger RNA, osmotic stress, perennials, promoter regions, screening, spring, transcription factors, winter
The SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE (SVP)-like and DORMANCY ASSOCIATED MADS-BOX (DAM) genes have been shown to regulate winter dormancy in woody perennials. In kiwifruit, AcSVP2 affects the duration of dormancy in cultivars that require high chill for dormancy release. In this study, we used a low-chill kiwifruit Actinidia chinensis ‘Hort16A’ to further study the function and regulation of AcSVP2. Overexpression of AcSVP2 in transgenic A. chinensis delayed budbreak in spring. A reduction in the active trimethylation histone marks of the histone H3K4 and acetylation of histone H3 contributed to the reduction of AcSVP2 expression towards dormancy release, while the inactive histone marks of trimethylation of the histone H3K27 and H3K9 in AcSVP2 locus did not show significant enrichment at the end of winter dormancy. Analysis of expression in shoot buds showed that AcSVP2 transcript was elevated in dormant buds during winter months and declined prior to budbreak, which was coordinated with expression of some of kiwifruit SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS1 (SOC1)-like genes. Screening of 101 transcription factors in an assay with a 2.3 kb promoter region of AcSVP2 found that kiwifruit SOC1-like genes are able to activate the AcSVP2 promoter. We further identified additional transcription factors associated with drought/osmotic stress and dormancy which may regulate AcSVP2 expression.