The Arabidopsis PHD-finger protein EDM2 has multiple roles in balancing NLR immune receptor gene expression

Abstract

Plant NLR-type receptors serve as sensitive triggers of host immunity. Their expression has to be well-balanced, due to their interference with various cellular processes and dose-dependency of their defense-inducing activity. A genetic “arms race” with fast-evolving pathogenic microbes requires plants to constantly innovate their NLR repertoires. We previously showed that insertion of the COPIA-R7 retrotransposon into RPP7 co-opted the epigenetic transposon silencing signal H3K9me2 to a new function promoting expression of this Arabidopsis thaliana NLR gene. Recruitment of the histone binding protein EDM2 to COPIA-R7-associated H3K9me2 is required for optimal expression of RPP7. By profiling of genome-wide effects of EDM2, we now uncovered additional examples illustrating effects of transposons on NLR gene expression, strongly suggesting that these mobile elements can play critical roles in the rapid evolution of plant NLR genes by providing the “raw material” for gene expression mechanisms. We further found EDM2 to have a global role in NLR expression control. Besides serving as a positive regulator of RPP7 and a small number of other NLR genes, EDM2 acts as a suppressor of a multitude of additional NLR genes. We speculate that the dual functionality of EDM2 in NLR expression control arose from the need to compensate for fitness penalties caused by high expression of some NLR genes by suppression of others. Moreover, we are providing new insights into functional relationships of EDM2 with its interaction partner, the RNA binding protein EDM3/AIPP1, and its target gene IBM1, encoding an H3K9-demethylase.

Description
Keywords
Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Genetics & Heredity, DOWNY MILDEW RESISTANCE, NB-LRR GENES, DNA METHYLATION, DISEASE RESISTANCE, PERONOSPORA-PARASITICA, SALICYLIC-ACID, TRANSPOSABLE ELEMENTS, LTR-RETROTRANSPOSONS, ENCODING GENES, JMJC DOMAIN, Developmental Biology, 0604 Genetics
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