Gibberellin signaling requires chromatin remodeler PICKLE to promote vegetative growth and phase transitions

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© 2017 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved. PICKLE (PKL) is an ATP-dependent chromodomain-helicase-DNA-binding domain (CHD3) chromatin remodeling enzyme in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Previous studies showed that PKL promotes embryonic-to-vegetative transition by inhibiting expression of seed-specific genes during seed germination. The pkl mutants display a low penetrance of the “pickle root” phenotype, with a thick and green primary root that retains embryonic characteristics. The penetrance of this pickle root phenotype in pkl is dramatically increased in gibberellin (GA)-deficient conditions. At adult stages, the pkl mutants are semidwarfs with delayed flowering time, which resemble reduced GA-signaling mutants. These findings suggest that PKL may play a positive role in regulating GA signaling. A recent biochemical analysis further showed that PKL and GA signaling repressors DELLAs antagonistically regulate hypocotyl cell elongation genes by direct protein-protein interaction. To elucidate further the role of PKL in GA signaling and plant development, we studied the genetic interaction between PKL and DELLAs using the hextuple mutant containing pkl and della pentuple (dP) mutations. Here, we show that PKL is required for most of GA-promoted developmental processes, including vegetative growth such as hypocotyl, leaf, and inflorescence stem elongation, and phase transitions such as juvenile-to-adult leaf and vegetative-to-reproductive phase. The removal of all DELLA functions (in the dP background) cannot rescue these phenotypes in pkl. RNA-sequencing analysis using the ga1 (a GA-deficient mutant), pkl, and the ga1 pkl double mutant further shows that expression of 80% of GA-responsive genes in seedlings is PKL dependent, including genes that function in cell elongation, cell division, and phase transitions. These results indicate that the CHD3 chromatin remodeler PKL is required for regulating gene expression during most of GA-regulated developmental processes.

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Plant Physiology

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