• abscisic acid (ABA);
  • Abscisic acid insensitive 3 (ABI3);
  • chromatin;
  • chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis;
  • Pisum sativum;
  • RY element;
  • SNF5;
  • stalled RNA polymerase II


  • Aspects of transcriptional regulation in plants, such as the order in which transcriptional factors and the preinitiation complex are assembled, are obscure because studies carried out under conditions in which native chromatin structure is preserved are still few in comparison with those carried out under other conditions.
  • In vivo chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) experiments were used here to study the regulation of Pisum sativum psp54, which codes for the precursor of a chromatin-associated protein in dry seeds.
  • Antibodies against PsSNF5, a component of the SWI/SNF remodelling complex, and against the transcriptional factor Pisum sativum abscisic acid insensitive 3 (PsABI3) were raised and used for ChIP experiments, which showed that both factors are bound to the psp54 promoter only when the gene is actively expressed during seed maturation and germination. However, RNA polymerase II appeared to be bound to the inactive promoter, which was poised for transcription, before the assembly of factors. Micrococcal nuclease protection assays showed that chromatin conformation at the proximal psp54 promoter changes in shifting from the active to inactive state.
  • The changes in the promoter chromatin of psp54 are discussed. Stalled polymerase is described for the first time at the promoter of a non-heat-shock plant gene.