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Department of Biological Sciences

The Xu lab published a new study in the New Phytologist

During the vegetative development of flowering plants, the shoot produces morphologically distinct juvenile and adult leaves before flowering. The juvenile-to-adult phase transition is mediated by a down-regulation of the micro-RNA MIR156 that is accompanied by epigenetic changes at the MIR156A/MIR156C  locus in Arabidopsis. In their new study titled "PICKLE associates with histone deacetylase 9 to mediate vegetative phase change in Arabidopsis", research Technician Tieqiang Hu and graduate students Darren Manuela and Valerie Hinsch from the Xu lab report that the histone deacetylase HDA9 is recruited to the MIR156A/MIR156C locus during the juvenile phase and associates with the CHD3 chromatin remodeler PICKLE to erase acetylation marks. HDAC9 and Pickle facilitate the binding of another chromatin modifier, PRC2, at  the MIR156A/MIR156C locus and increase tri-methylation. Overall, these new results highlight a novel important function for Pickle in mediating vegetative phase change and maintaining plants in the adult phase after the phase transition. Great work!

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