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, 434 (7032), 505-9

Genome-wide Non-Mendelian Inheritance of Extra-Genomic Information in Arabidopsis

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Genome-wide Non-Mendelian Inheritance of Extra-Genomic Information in Arabidopsis

Susan J Lolle et al. Nature.

Abstract

A fundamental tenet of classical mendelian genetics is that allelic information is stably inherited from one generation to the next, resulting in predictable segregation patterns of differing alleles. Although several exceptions to this principle are known, all represent specialized cases that are mechanistically restricted to either a limited set of specific genes (for example mating type conversion in yeast) or specific types of alleles (for example alleles containing transposons or repeated sequences). Here we show that Arabidopsis plants homozygous for recessive mutant alleles of the organ fusion gene HOTHEAD (HTH) can inherit allele-specific DNA sequence information that was not present in the chromosomal genome of their parents but was present in previous generations. This previously undescribed process is shown to occur at all DNA sequence polymorphisms examined and therefore seems to be a general mechanism for extra-genomic inheritance of DNA sequence information. We postulate that these genetic restoration events are the result of a template-directed process that makes use of an ancestral RNA-sequence cache.

Comment in

  • Genetics: Hotheaded Healer
    D Weigel et al. Nature 434 (7032), 443. PMID 15791234.
  • Plant Genetics: RNA Cache or Genome Trash?
    A Ray. Nature 437 (7055), E1-2; discussion E2. PMID 16136081.
    According to classical mendelian genetics, individuals homozygous for an allele always breed true. Lolle et al. report a pattern of non-mendelian inheritance in the hothe …
  • Plant Genetics: Hothead Healer and Extragenomic Information
    A Chaudhury. Nature 437 (7055), E1; discussion E2. PMID 16136082.
    Lolle et al. suggest that non-mendelian inheritance in Arabidopsis thaliana might be attributable to an ancestral RNA-sequence cache, whereby the RNA genome of previous g …
  • Plant Genetics: Increased Outcrossing in Hothead Mutants
    P Peng et al. Nature 443 (7110), E8; discussion E8-9. PMID 17006468.
    Arising from: S. J. Lolle, J. L. Victor, J. M. Young & R. E. Pruitt 434, 505-509 (2005); Lolle et al. reply. Lolle et al. report that loss-of-function alleles of the …

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