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Open AccessArticle

Robust Cytonuclear Coordination of Transcription in Nascent Arabidopsis thaliana Autopolyploids

Department of Biology, Reed College, Portland, OR 97202, USA
School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14853, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2020, 11(2), 134;
Received: 1 January 2020 / Revised: 17 January 2020 / Accepted: 24 January 2020 / Published: 28 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cytonuclear Interactions in Polyploid Species)
Polyploidy is hypothesized to cause dosage imbalances between the nucleus and the other genome-containing organelles (mitochondria and plastids), but the evidence for this is limited. We performed RNA-seq on Arabidopsis thaliana diploids and their derived autopolyploids to quantify the degree of inter-genome coordination of transcriptional responses to nuclear whole genome duplication in two different organs (sepals and rosette leaves). We show that nuclear and organellar genomes exhibit highly coordinated responses in both organs. First, organelle genome copy number increased in response to nuclear whole genome duplication (WGD), at least partially compensating for altered nuclear genome dosage. Second, transcriptional output of the different cellular compartments is tuned to maintain diploid-like levels of relative expression among interacting genes. In particular, plastid genes and nuclear genes whose products are plastid-targeted show coordinated down-regulation, such that their expression levels relative to each other remain constant across ploidy levels. Conversely, mitochondrial genes and nuclear genes with mitochondrial targeting show either constant or coordinated up-regulation of expression relative to other nuclear genes. Thus, cytonuclear coordination is robust to changes in nuclear ploidy level, with diploid-like balance in transcript abundances achieved within three generations after nuclear whole genome duplication.
Keywords: polyploidy; Arabidopsis thaliana; cytonuclear interactions; transcription polyploidy; Arabidopsis thaliana; cytonuclear interactions; transcription
MDPI and ACS Style

Coate, J.E.; Schreyer, W.M.; Kum, D.; Doyle, J.J. Robust Cytonuclear Coordination of Transcription in Nascent Arabidopsis thaliana Autopolyploids. Genes 2020, 11, 134.

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