Destabilization of chromosome structure by histone H3 lysine 27 methylation

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Mareike MoellerEva Holtgrewe Stukenbrock


Chromosome and genome stability are important for normal cell function as instability often correlates with disease and dysfunction of DNA repair mechanisms. Many organisms maintain supernumerary or accessory chromosomes that deviate from standard chromosomes. The pathogenic fungus Zymoseptoria tritici has as many as eight accessory chromosomes, which are highly unstable during meiosis and mitosis, transcriptionally repressed, show enrichment of repetitive elements, and enrichment with heterochromatic histone methylation marks, e.g., trimethylation of H3 lysine 9 or lysine 27 (H3K9me3, H3K27me3). To elucidate the role of heterochromatin on genome stability in Z. tritici, we deleted the genes encoding the methyltransferases responsible for H3K9me3 and H3K27me3, kmt1 and kmt6, respectively, and generated a double mutant. We combined experimental evolution and genomic analyses to determine the impact of these deletions on chromosome and genome stability, both in vitro and in planta. We used whole genome sequencing, ChIP-seq, and RNA-seq to compare changes in genome and chromatin structure, and differences in gene expression between mutant and wildtype strains. Analyses of genome and ChIP-seq data in H3K9me3-deficient strains revea...Continue Reading

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