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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Chromatin remodeling in regulation of chromosomal Crossing-Over and seed production
  • 3 years programme (2020-2023)
  • Budget global: 556k€, budget IGEPP 209k€
  • Coordinator and partner 1: Wen-Hui SHEN, IBMP Strasbourg
  • Partner 2: Eric JENCZEWSKI, IJPB Versailles
  • Partner 3: Anne-Marie CHEVRE, IGEPP
  • Contact: Anne-Marie Chèvre

The aim of the ChromCO project is to investigate function of chromatin landscape and chromatin remodeling in regulating Crossing-Over (CO) events during meiosis, a fundamental process ensuring sexual transmission of genetic material to next generation and meanwhile generating diversity within species by creating new chromosome/allele combinations. The project focuses on two species of the Brassicaceae family: Arabidopsis thaliana as the model plant and Brassica napus as being one of the most important oilseed crops in agriculture (ranked at the second place in the world and the first place in Europe).

Recent studies in Arabidopsis start to uncover importance of chromatin landscape in CO distribution within the genome. Moreover, our unpublished data have identified an ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling factor (INO) to play a crucial role in repressing CO frequency in Arabidopsis. INO is highly conserved in oilseed rape. Within the ChromCO project, the three Partners bring together their highly complementary scientific knowledge and expertise to investigate INO function and to address fundamental and emergent questions in chromatin-controlled CO formation.

The ChromCO project will combine multi-type approaches, including CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, genetic mapping, mutant characterization, cytogenetics, immunostaining, microscopy, and genome-wide profiling, to functionally characterize INO but also to deeply increase our knowledge about euchromatin modifications and chromatin remodeling in regulation of CO events. More specifically, in addition to our already available INO-knockout mutants in Arabidopsis as well as histone-modification-defective mutants in Arabidopsis and in Brassica that will be characterized into detail, the Brassica INO genes (three copies) will also be knockout by using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology. Thereafter, the impact of loss-of-function of one, two or all three genes of INO on CO frequency, distribution and meiotic stability will be deciphered genome-wide by genetic mapping. An increased knowledge about how INO functions and interplays with meiotic factors (RECQ4, HEI10/HEIP1) as well as with other chromatin regulators (SWR1, NRPs, SDG8, SDG2, HUB2) will be gained through genetic interaction studies. Immunostaining and microscopy imaging will be performed to gain knowledge about epigenetic marks (e.g. H2A.X, H2A.Z, and methylated H3) during meiosis in both Arabidopsis and Brassica. Furthermore, alteration of genome-wide distribution of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and COs will be integrated with publicly accessible profiles of histone methylations (e.g. H3K4, H3K9, H3K27 and H3K36 methylations) and histone variants (H2A.Z, H3.3, H2A.W) to assess INO function associated with or not with a specific chromatin feature in Arabidopsis.

The ChromCO project is expected to make following breakthroughs: i) A functional understanding of the importance of chromatin landscape and chromatin remodeling in CO formation and meiosis; ii) A mechanistic insight into the function of the INO gene in chromatin remodeling and CO regulation; iii) A genome-wide knowledge of CO distribution regulated by chromatin landscape and chromatin remodeling; iv) A comparative knowledge of similarities/specificities of chromatin regulation of COs between the diploid plant Arabidopsis thaliana (2n = 10) and the allotetraploid plant Brassica napus (AACC, 2n = 38). The ChromCO project has implicating interests in agronomical applications as well as in evolutionary biology, speciation and plant environmental adaptation. Indeed, a deep understanding of the mechanisms that regulate CO frequency could provide efficient ways to increase recombination and will enable to create more rapidly and efficiently new elite cultivars via combining alleles of interests. An insight about CO events occurring between homologous (A and A or C and C) and homoleologous (A and C) chromosomes could help to understand evolution of hybrid speciation.