Temporal dynamics of gene expression and histone marks at the Arabidopsis shoot meristem during flowering

Nat Commun. 2017 May 17;8:15120. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15120.


Plants can produce organs throughout their entire life from pluripotent stem cells located at their growing tip, the shoot apical meristem (SAM). At the time of flowering, the SAM of Arabidopsis thaliana switches fate and starts producing flowers instead of leaves. Correct timing of flowering in part determines reproductive success, and is therefore under environmental and endogenous control. How epigenetic regulation contributes to the floral transition has eluded analysis so far, mostly because of the poor accessibility of the SAM. Here we report the temporal dynamics of the chromatin modifications H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 and their correlation with transcriptional changes at the SAM in response to photoperiod-induced flowering. Emphasizing the importance of tissue-specific epigenomic analyses we detect enrichments of chromatin states in the SAM that were not apparent in whole seedlings. Furthermore, our results suggest that regulation of translation might be involved in adjusting meristem function during the induction of flowering.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / physiology*
  • Chromatin / genetics
  • Flowers / genetics*
  • Flowers / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Genes, Plant
  • Histone Code / genetics*
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Lysine / metabolism
  • Meristem / genetics*
  • Methylation
  • Time Factors


  • Chromatin
  • Histones
  • Lysine