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Molecular Plant
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 2  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 610 - 627

An Epigenetic Perspective on Developmental Regulation of Seed Genes

H Zhang and J. Ogas    


The developmental program of seeds is promoted by master regulators that are expressed in a seed-specific manner. Ectopic expression studies reveal that expression of these master regulators and other transcriptional regulators is sufficient to promote seed-associated traits, including generation of somatic embryos. Recent work highlights the importance of chromatin-associated factors in restricting expression of seed-specific genes, in particular PcG proteins and ATP-dependent remodelers. This review summarizes what is known regarding factors that promote zygotic and/or somatic embryogenesis and the chromatin machinery that represses their expression. Characterization of the regulation of seed-specific genes reveals that plant chromatin-based repression systems exhibit broad conservation with and surprising differences from animal repression systems.

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