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Hypermethylated SUPERMAN Epigenetic Alleles in Arabidopsis

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Science  22 Aug 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5329, pp. 1100-1103
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5329.1100

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Abstract

Mutations in the SUPERMAN gene affect flower development in Arabidopsis. Seven heritable but unstable supepi-alleles (the clark kent alleles) are associated with nearly identical patterns of excess cytosine methylation within theSUP gene and a decreased level of SUP RNA. Revertants of these alleles are largely demethylated at theSUP locus and have restored levels of SUP RNA. A transgenic Arabidopsis line carrying an antisense methyltransferase gene, which shows an overall decrease in genomic cytosine methylation, also contains a hypermethylated supallele. Thus, disruption of methylation systems may yield more complex outcomes than expected and can result in methylation defects at known genes. The clark kent alleles differ from the antisense line because they do not show a general decrease in genomic methylation.

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