CENH3 distribution and differential chromatin modifications during pollen development in rye (Secale cereale L.)

Andreas Houben, Katrin Kumke, Kiyotaka Nagaki, Gerd Hause

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Microgametogenesis in angiosperms results in two structurally and functionally different cells, one generative cell, which subsequently forms the sperm cells, and the vegetative cell. We analysed the chromatin properties of both types of nuclei after first and second pollen mitosis in rye (Secale cereale). The condensed chromatin of generative nuclei is earmarked by an enhanced level of histone H3K4/K9 dimethylation and H3K9 acetylation. The less condensed vegetative nuclei are RNA polymerase II positive. Trimethylation of H3K27 is not involved in transcriptional downregulation of genes located in generative nuclei as H3K27me3 was exclusively detected in the vegetative nuclei. The global level of DNA methylation does not differ between both types of pollen nuclei. In rye, unlike in Arabidopsis thaliana (Ingouff et al. Curr Biol 17:1032-1037 2007; Schoft et al. EMBO Rep 10:1015-1021 2009), centromeric histone H3 is not excluded from the chromatin of the vegetative nucleus and the condensation degree of centromeric and subtelomeric regions did not differ between the generative and vegetative nuclei. Differences between rye and A. thaliana data suggest that the chromatin organization in mature nuclei of pollen grains is not universal across angiosperms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-480
Number of pages10
JournalChromosome Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • CENH3
  • chromatin
  • generative nuclei
  • histone methylation
  • pollen mitosis
  • rye
  • vegetative nuclei

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'CENH3 distribution and differential chromatin modifications during pollen development in rye (Secale cereale L.)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this