Functional analysis of SlEZ1 a tomato Enhancer of zeste (E(z)) gene demonstrates a role in flower development
The Enhancer of Zeste (E(z)) Polycomb group (PcG) proteins, which are encoded by a small gene family in Arabidopsis thaliana, have been shown to participate to the control of flowering and seed development. For the time being, little is known about the function of these proteins in other plants. In tomato E(z) proteins are encoded by at least two genes namely SlEZ1 and SlEZ2 while a third gene, SlEZ3, is likely to encode a truncated non-functional protein. The analysis of the corresponding mRNA demonstrates that these two genes are differentially regulated during plant and fruit development. We also show that SlEZ1 and SlEZ2 are targeted to the nuclei. These results together with protein sequence analysis makes it likely that both proteins are functional E(z) proteins. The characterisation of SlEZ1 RNAi lines suggests that although there might be some functional redundancy between SlEZ1 and SlEZ2 in most plant organs, the former protein is likely to play specific function in flower development.
KeywordsPolycomb Epigenetic Tomato Fruit Flower Enhancer of zeste
A How Kit and L Boureau were recipient of a grant from the French Ministry of Research and Technology. We would like to thank E Jaligot for critical reading of this manuscript, C Cabasson for statistical analysis of the results and M. Lemaire-Chamley for providing seed enriched samples.
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