AGO6 functions in RNA-mediated transcriptional gene silencing in shoot and root meristems in Arabidopsis thaliana

PLoS One. 2011;6(10):e25730. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0025730. Epub 2011 Oct 5.


RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) is a small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated epigenetic modification that contributes to transposon silencing in plants. RdDM requires a complex transcriptional machinery that includes specialized RNA polymerases, named Pol IV and Pol V, as well as chromatin remodelling proteins, transcription factors, RNA binding proteins, and other plant-specific proteins whose functions are not yet clarified. In Arabidopsis thaliana, DICER-LIKE3 and members of the ARGONAUTE4 group of ARGONAUTE (AGO) proteins are involved, respectively, in generating and using 24-nt siRNAs that trigger methylation and transcriptional gene silencing of homologous promoter sequences. AGO4 is the main AGO protein implicated in the RdDM pathway. Here we report the identification of the related AGO6 in a forward genetic screen for mutants defective in RdDM and transcriptional gene silencing in shoot and root apical meristems in Arabidopsis thaliana. The identification of AGO6, and not AGO4, in our screen is consistent with the primary expression of AGO6 in shoot and root growing points.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / chemistry
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Argonaute Proteins / chemistry
  • Argonaute Proteins / genetics
  • Argonaute Proteins / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Methylation / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / genetics
  • Gene Silencing*
  • Meristem / genetics*
  • Meristem / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Roots / genetics*
  • Plant Roots / metabolism
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • RNA, Plant / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic / genetics*
  • Transgenes / genetics


  • AGO6 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Argonaute Proteins
  • RNA, Plant

Associated data

  • GENBANK/HE582394
  • GENBANK/HE584556
  • GEO/GSE28537