A new role for histone demethylases in the maintenance of plant genome integrity

Javier Antunez-Sanchez, Matthew Naish, Juan Sebastian Ramirez-Prado, Sho Ohno, Ying Huang, Alexander Dawson, Korawit Opassathian, Deborah Manza-Mianza, Federico Ariel, Cecile Raynaud, Anjar Wibowo, Josquin Daron, Minako Ueda, David Latrasse, R. Keith Slotkin, Detlef Weigel, Moussa Benhamed, Jose Gutierrez-Marcos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Histone modifications deposited by the Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) play a critical role in the control of growth, development, and adaptation to environmental fluctuations of most multicellular eukaryotes. The catalytic activity of PRC2 is counteracted by Jumonji-type (JMJ) histone demethylases, which shapes the genomic distribution of H3K27me3. Here, we show that two JMJ histone demethylases in Arabidopsis, EARLY FLOWERING 6 (ELF6) and RELATIVE OF EARLY FLOWERING 6 (REF6), play distinct roles in H3K27me3 and H3K27me1 homeostasis. We show that failure to reset these chromatin marks during sexual reproduction results in the transgenerational inheritance of histone marks, which cause a loss of DNA methylation at heterochromatic loci and transposon activation. Thus, Jumonji-type histone demethylases play a dual role in plants by helping to maintain transcriptional states through development and safeguard genome integrity during sexual reproduction.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere58533
Pages (from-to)1-32
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct


  • Arabidopsis
  • Chromatin
  • DNA methylation
  • Epimutation
  • Transposon


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