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© 2018 The Author(s). Background: Formation of nucleosomes along eukaryotic DNA has an impact on transcription. Major transcriptional changes occur in response to low external phosphate (Pi) in plants, but the involvement of chromatin-level mechanisms in Pi starvation responses have not been investigated. Results: We mapped nucleosomes along with transcriptional changes after 24-h of Pi starvation in rice (Oryza sativa) by deep sequencing of micrococcal nuclease digested chromatin and ribosome-depleted RNA. We demonstrated that nucleosome patterns at rice genes were affected by both cis- and trans-determinants, including GC content and transcription. Also, categorizing rice genes by nucleosome patterns across the transcription start site (TSS) revealed nucleosome patterns that correlated with distinct functional categories of genes. We further demonstrated that Pi starvation resulted in numerous dynamic nucleosomes, which were enhanced at genes differentially expressed in response to Pi starvation. Conclusions: We demonstrate that rice nucleosome patterns are suggestive of gene functions, and reveal a link between chromatin remodeling and transcriptional changes in response to deficiency of a major macronutrient. Our findings help to enhance the understanding towards eukaryotic gene regulation at the chromatin level.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

BMC Genomics