We previously showed that the N6-methyladenosine (m6A) mRNA methylase is essential during Arabidopsis thaliana embryonic development. We also demonstrated that this modification is present at varying levels in all mature tissues. However, the requirement for the m6A in the mature plant was not tested. Here we show that a 90% reduction in m6A levels during later growth stages gives rise to plants with altered growth patterns and reduced apical dominance. The flowers of these plants commonly show defects in their floral organ number, size, and identity. The global analysis of gene expression from reduced m6A plants show that a significant number of down-regulated genes are involved in transport, or targeted transport, and most of the up-regulated genes are involved in stress and stimulus response processes. An analysis of m6A distribution in fragmented mRNA suggests that the m6A is predominantly positioned toward the 3′ end of transcripts in a region 100–150 bp before the poly(A) tail. In addition to the analysis of the phenotypic changes in the low methylation Arabidopsis plants we will review the latest advances in the field of mRNA internal methylation
Keywords: post-transcriptional, mRNA methylation, MT-A70, IME4, METTL3
Citation: Bodi Z, Zhong S, Mehra S, Song J, Graham N, Li H, May S and Fray RG (2012) Adenosine methylation in Arabidopsis mRNA is associated with the 3′ end and reduced levels cause developmental defects. Front. Plant Sci. 3:48. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2012.00048
Received: 01 December 2011; Accepted: 27 February 2012;
Published online: 23 March 2012.
Edited by:Richard A. Jorgensen, Project – National Laboratory of Genomics (LANGEBIO), Mexico
Reviewed by:Xiangfeng Wang, University of Arizona, USA
Copyright: © 2012 Bodi, Zhong, Mehra, Song, Graham, Li, May and Fray. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited.
*Correspondence: Rupert George Fray, School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Loughborough, LE12 5RD, UK. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
†Present address: Silin Zhong, Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA; Jie Song, John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich, NR4 7UH, UK.