Molecular Characterization of the mop2, a Gene Required for Epigenetic Silencing
AdvisorChandler, Vicki L
Committee ChairChandler, Vicki L
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe mop2 gene is required for epigenetic silencing; it was originally defined as a mutation, Mop2-1, which when dominant prevented paramutation at b1. Paramutation is an allele communication that causes a mitotically and meiotically heritable change in gene expression. Mop2-1 was subsequently shown to be involved in maintaining the silenced paramutant state and to prevent dsRNA-mediated transcriptional gene silencing (activities revealed only when the mutation is homozygous). Understanding the product encoded by mop2 will help dissect the underlying mechanisms involved in paramutation and dsRNA-mediated transcriptional silencing. This dissertation describes map-based cloning and candidate gene approaches directed toward the eventual goal of identification of mop2.Initial mapping of mop2 placed it within a region delineated by the markers umc1823 and eks1. On the maize physical map this region contains 21 BAC (Bacteria Artificial Chromosome) clones, representing 2.9 Mb. Skim sequencing identified additional markers for mapping and revealed the gene content. Extensive candidate gene examinations, including gene sequencing, expression profiling with microarrays and RT-PCR, and complementation tests with mutant alleles did not identify any of the four chromatin and RNAi-related genes as mop2.The new markers developed from the skim sequence enabled further mapping and molecular genotyping, which revealed that the Mop2-1 mutation was unstable. ApproxiÂ¬mately 10% of phenotypic heterozygous plants were actually genotypic homozygous. Further mapping using only Mop2-1 homozygous plants reduced the mop2 interval to a region of nine BACs, containing 57 genes.The mop2 region is highly syntenic to a rice region of 1.25 Mb on chromosome 4. The gene alignment and repetitive sequence analyses between the syntenic regions in these two species revealed both syntenic and non-syntenic blocks of sequences. Analyses suggested several potential mechanisms for the collinearity breakage, including, but not limited to, tandem duplications of genes in one species but not the other and the presence of gene fragments in maize, but not in rice.The research described herein provides the basis for continued efforts to clone mop2. Fine-structure mapping with new markers and a larger population, as well as candidate gene sequencing in the Mop2-1 BAC library, should be pursued to clone mop2.
Degree ProgramPlant Science