Ploidy-dependent changes in the epigenome of symbiotic cells correlate with specific patterns of gene expression

Marianna Nagymihály, Alaguraj Veluchamy, Zoltán Györgypál, Federico Ariel, Teddy Jégu, Moussa Benhamed, Attila Szűcs, Attila Kereszt, Peter Mergaert, Éva Kondorosi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The formation of symbiotic nodule cells in Medicago truncatula is driven by successive endoreduplication cycles and transcriptional reprogramming in different temporal waves including the activation of more than 600 cysteine-rich NCR genes expressed only in nodules. We show here that the transcriptional waves correlate with growing ploidy levels and have investigated how the epigenome changes during endoreduplication cycles. Differential DNA methylation was found in only a small subset of symbiotic nodule-specific genes, including more than half of the NCR genes, whereas in most genes DNA methylation was unaffected by the ploidy levels and was independent of the genes' active or repressed state. On the other hand, expression of nodule-specific genes correlated with ploidy-dependent opening of the chromatin as well as, in a subset of tested genes, with reduced H3K27me3 levels combined with enhanced H3K9ac levels. Our results suggest that endoreduplication-dependent epigenetic changes contribute to transcriptional reprogramming in the differentiation of symbiotic cells.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4543-4548
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Issue number17
StatePublished - Apr 12 2017


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