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Genome-wide chromatin mapping with size resolution reveals a dynamic sub-nucleosomal landscape in Arabidopsis

Pass, Daniel Antony ORCID:, Sornay, Emily ORCID:, Marchbank, Angela, Crawford, Margaret R., Paszkiewicz, Konrad, Kent, Nicholas A. ORCID: and Murray, James A. H. ORCID: 2017. Genome-wide chromatin mapping with size resolution reveals a dynamic sub-nucleosomal landscape in Arabidopsis. PLoS Genetics 13 (9) , e1006988. 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006988

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All eukaryotic genomes are packaged as chromatin, with DNA interlaced with both regularly patterned nucleosomes and sub-nucleosomal-sized protein structures such as mobile and labile transcription factors (TF) and initiation complexes, together forming a dynamic chromatin landscape. Whilst details of nucleosome position in Arabidopsis have been previously analysed, there is less understanding of their relationship to more dynamic sub-nucleosomal particles (subNSPs) defined as protected regions shorter than the ~150bp typical of nucleosomes. The genome-wide profile of these subNSPs has not been previously analysed in plants and this study investigates the relationship of dynamic bound particles with transcriptional control. Here we combine differential micrococcal nuclease (MNase) digestion and a modified paired-end sequencing protocol to reveal the chromatin structure landscape of Arabidopsis cells across a wide particle size range. Linking this data to RNAseq expression analysis provides detailed insight into the relationship of identified DNA-bound particles with transcriptional activity. The use of differential digestion reveals sensitive positions, including a labile -1 nucleosome positioned upstream of the transcription start site (TSS) of active genes. We investigated the response of the chromatin landscape to changes in environmental conditions using light and dark growth, given the large transcriptional changes resulting from this simple alteration. The resulting shifts in the suites of expressed and repressed genes show little correspondence to changes in nucleosome positioning, but led to significant alterations in the profile of subNSPs upstream of TSS both globally and locally. We examined previously mapped positions for the TFs PIF3, PIF4 and CCA1, which regulate light responses, and found that changes in subNSPs co-localized with these binding sites. This small particle structure is detected only under low levels of MNase digestion and is lost on more complete digestion of chromatin to nucleosomes. We conclude that wide-spectrum analysis of the Arabidopsis genome by differential MNase digestion allows detection of sensitive features hereto obscured, and the comparisons between genome-wide subNSP profiles reveals dynamic changes in their distribution, particularly at distinct genomic locations (i.e. 5’UTRs). The method here employed allows insight into the complex influence of genetic and extrinsic factors in modifying the sub-nucleosomal landscape in association with transcriptional changes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1553-7390
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 September 2017
Date of Acceptance: 21 August 2017
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 19:01

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