Jun 17, 2020

Identification of key tissue-specific, biological processes by integrating enhancer information in maize gene regulatory networks

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
M. FagnyClémentine Vitte


Enhancers are important regulators of gene expression during numerous crucial processes including tissue differentiation across development. In plants, their recent molecular characterization revealed their capacity to activate the expression of several target genes through the binding of transcription factors. Nevertheless, identifying these target genes at a genome-wide level remains a challenge, in particular in species with large genomes, where enhancers and target genes can be hundreds of kilobases away. Therefore, the contribution of enhancers to regulatory network is still poorly understood in plants. In this study, we investigate the enhancer-driven regulatory network of two maize tissues at different stages: leaves at seedling stage and husks (bracts) at flowering. Using a systems biology approach, we integrate genomic, epigenomic and transcriptomic data to model the regulatory relationship between transcription factors and their potential target genes. We identify regulatory modules specific to husk and V2-IST, and show that they are involved in distinct functions related to the biology of each tissue. We evidence enhancers exhibiting binding sites for two distinct transcription factor families (DOF and AP2/ERF) that ...Continue Reading

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