Coordinate repression of regulators of embryonic identity by PICKLE during germination in Arabidopsis

Stanley Dean Rider, James T. Henderson, Ronald E. Jerome, Howard J. Edenberg, Jeanne Romero-Severson, Joe Ogas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Scopus citations


In angiosperms, germination represents an important developmental transition during which embryonic identity is repressed and vegetative identity emerges. PICKLE (PKL) encodes a CHD3-chromatin-remodeling factor necessary for the repression of expression of LEAFY COTYLEDON1 (LEC1), a central regulator of embryogenesis. A candidate gene approach and microarray analysis identified nine additional genes that exhibit PKL-dependent repression of expression during germination. Transcripts for all three LEAFY COTYLEDON genes, LEC1, LEC2, and FUS3, exhibit PKL-dependent repression, and all three transcripts are elevated more than 100-fold in pkl primary roots that inappropriately express embryonic traits (pickle roots). Three other genes that exhibit PKL-dependent regulation have expression patterns correlated with zygotic or somatic embryogenesis, and one gene encodes a putative Lin-11, Isl-1, MEC-3 (LIM) domain transcriptional regulator that is preferentially expressed in siliques. Genes that exhibit PKL-dependent repression during germination are not necessarily regulated by PKL at other points in development. Our data suggest that PKL selectively regulates a suite of genes during germination to repress embryonic identity. In particular, we propose that PKL acts as a master regulator of the LEAFY COTYLEDON genes, and that joint derepression of these genes is likely to contribute substantially to expression of embryonic identity in pkl seedlings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-43
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2003


  • CHD3
  • Chromatin-remodeling factors
  • Developmental transition
  • Embryo
  • Germination
  • Seed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science

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