Arabidopsis thaliana DNA methylation mutants

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Science  25 Jun 1993:
Vol. 260, Issue 5116, pp. 1926-1928
DOI: 10.1126/science.8316832


Three DNA hypomethylation mutants of the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana were isolated by screening mutagenized populations for plants containing centromeric repetitive DNA arrays susceptible to digestion by a restriction endonuclease that was sensitive to methylated cytosines. The mutations are recessive, and at least two are alleles of a single locus, designated DDM1 (for decrease in DNA methylation). Amounts of 5-methylcytosine were reduced over 70 percent in ddm1 mutants. Despite this reduction in DNA methylation levels, ddm1 mutants developed normally and exhibited no striking morphological phenotypes. However, the ddm1 mutations are associated with a segregation distortion phenotype. The ddm1 mutations were used to demonstrate that de novo DNA methylation in vivo is slow.

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