Nuclei of Tsuga canadensis: Role of flavanols in chromatin organization

Walter Feucht, Markus Schmid, Dieter Treutter

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Needle primordia of Tsuga canadensis (hemlock) arising from flank meristems of a shoot apex, form cell lineages consisting of four or eight cells. Within a recently established lineage there is striking uniformity in the pattern of nuclear flavanols. This fact points to an identical transcriptional expression of these flavanols during cell cycling. However two lineages, even if located close together within the same meristem, can be very different in the expression of both cell shape and nuclear flavanol pattern, indicating that epigenetic positional signals are operating in a collective specification of cell lineage development. There is a wide range of nuclear flavanol patterning from a mosaic-like distribution in an activated cell type to a homogenous appearance in silenced cell types. Single cells deriving from lineages are desynchronized because they underlie a signaling network at a higher tissue level which results in stronger epigenetic modifications of their nuclear flavanols. As an extreme case of epigenetic modulation, transient drought conditions caused a drastic reduction of nuclear flavanols. Upon treatment with sucrose or cytokinin, these nuclear flavanols could be fully restored. Analytical determination of the flavanols revealed 3.4 mg/g DW for newly sprouting needles and 19.6 mg/g DW for anthers during meiosis. The roughly 6-fold difference in flavanols is apparently a reflection of the highly diverging processes. Collectively, the studies provide strong evidence for combinatorial interplay between cell fate and nuclear flavanols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6834-6855
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Cell cycling
  • Chromatin
  • Flavanols
  • Meiosis abbreviations: dmaca
  • Nuclei
  • P-dimethylaminocinnamaldehyde
  • References


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