Development-dependent inheritance of 5-azacytidine-induced epimutations in triticale: analysis of rDNA expression patterns

Chromosome Res. 1997 Nov;5(7):445-50. doi: 10.1023/a:1018460828720.


Genomic imprinting of rye origin rDNA sequences in triticale is modulated by DNA methylation responsible for ontogenic expression patterns of those sequences. Considering the dynamic nature of these phenomena, we evaluated the influence of plant development on the inheritance of modified rye rDNA expression patterns. DNA hypomethylation was induced in triticale by 5-azacytidine (5AC) treatments at distinct developmental stages of M1 plants, and expression patterns were analysed in M2. The activity of rye origin rRNA genes in progeny of untreated and 5AC-treated plants was evaluated by silver staining in meristematic root tip cells and in meiocytes at diplotene. In the progeny of 5AC-treated plants, a significant increase in rye rDNA expression was observed, contrasting with the residual activity in untreated plants. Significant differential effects of 5AC treatments were observed in M2 plants and correlated with the M1 plant developmental stage in which DNA hypomethylation was induced. Hypotheses to explain the origin of those differences are discussed here.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / pharmacology*
  • Azacitidine / pharmacology*
  • Cell Nucleus / genetics
  • Cell Nucleus / physiology
  • Chromosomes / genetics
  • DNA, Plant / genetics
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Edible Grain / genetics*
  • Gene Expression / genetics
  • Gene Expression / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genome, Plant
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Interphase
  • Metaphase / genetics
  • Mutation / drug effects*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Secale / genetics
  • Silver Staining / standards


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • DNA, Plant
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • Azacitidine