In the life of flowering plants, seed germination is a critical step to ensure survival into the next generation. Generally the seed prior to germination has been in a dormant state with a low rate of metabolism. In the transition from a dormant seed to a germinating seed, various epigenetic mechanisms play a regulatory role. Here, we demonstrate that the over-expression of chromatin remodeling ATPase genes (AtCHR12 or AtCHR23) reduced the frequency of seed germination in Arabidopsis thaliana up to 30% relative to the wild-type seeds. On the other hand, single loss-of-function mutations of the two genes did not affect seed germination. The reduction of germination in over-expressing mutants was more pronounced in stress conditions (salt or high temperature), showing the impact of the environment. Reduced germinations upon over-expression coincided with increased transcript levels of seed maturation genes and with reduced degradation of their mRNAs stored in dry seeds. Our results indicate that repression of AtCHR12/23 gene expression in germinating wild-type Arabidopsis seeds is required for full germination. This establishes a functional link between chromatin modifiers and regulatory networks towards seed maturation and germination.
Leeggangers, H. A. C. F., Folta, A., Muras, A., Nap, J. P., & Mlynarova, L. (2015). Reduced seed germination in Arabidopsis over-expressing SWI/SNF2 ATPase genes. Psysiologia plantarum, 153(2), 318-326. https://doi.org/10.1111/ppl.12231