DDM1-Mediated TE Silencing in Plants

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2 Citations (SciVal)


Epigenetic modifications are indispensable for regulating gene bodies and TE silencing. DECREASE IN DNA METHYLATION 1 (DDM1) is a chromatin remodeller involved in histone modifications and DNA methylation. Apart from maintaining the epigenome, DDM1 also maintains key plant traits such as flowering time and heterosis. The role of DDM1 in epigenetic regulation is best characterised in plants, especially arabidopsis, rice, maize and tomato. The epigenetic changes induced by DDM1 establish the stable inheritance of many plant traits for at least eight generations, yet DDM1 does not methylate protein-coding genes. The DDM1 TE silencing mechanism is distinct and has evolved independently of other silencing pathways. Unlike the RNA-directed DNA Methylation (RdDM) pathway, DDM1 does not depend on siRNAs to enforce the heterochromatic state of TEs. Here, we review DDM1 TE silencing activity in the RdDM and non-RdDM contexts. The DDM1 TE silencing machinery is strongly associated with the histone linker H1 and histone H2A.W. While the linker histone H1 excludes the RdDM factors from methylating the heterochromatin, the histone H2A.W variant prevents TE mobility. The DDM1-H2A.W strategy alone silences nearly all the mobile TEs in the arabidopsis genome. Thus, the DDM1-directed TE silencing essentially preserves heterochromatic features and abolishes mobile threats to genome stability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

This research was funded by the University of Bath Research Studentship Award (URSA), and the Urquhart Family Studentship (Alumni Fund, University of Bath) awarded to RA as Doctoral Scholarships. We also acknowledge the financial support provided by the Department of Biology and Biochemistry (University of Bath, UK) and Crop Innovations (Charitable incorporated organization).


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