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60Co-γ radiation induces differential acetylation and phosphorylation of histones H3 and H4 in wheat


  • Editor
    A. Amtmann

J. K. Sainis, Molecular Biology Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400085, India.


Histone modifications occur during DNA damage and repair in eukaryotes. These modifications were analysed in wheat seedlings exposed to 60Co-γ radiation. Seedling height was not significantly affected in the first 2 days after irradiation up to 150 Gy. Subsequently, in the next 2 weeks, there was 30–40% reduction in seedling height, indicating that there were late effects of irradiation. The histones isolated from irradiated seedlings were analysed in the initial stages for modifications of H3 and H4 using antibodies. Global acetylation of H3 decreased and H4 increased in a dose-dependent manner till 100 Gy. The time course of individual modifications showed that for H3K4 and H3K9, acetylation decreased, whereas for H3S10 phosphorylation increased. There were fluctuations in acetylation of H4K5, H4K12 and H4K16, whereas H4K8 showed hyper-acetylation. The results indicate that γ radiation induced DNA damage and repair in wheat seedlings and initiated differential acetylation of H3 and H4. This is the first report in plants on site-specific H3 and H4 modifications in response to exposure to ionizing radiation.