OsVIL2 functions with PRC2 to induce flowering by repressing OsLFL1 in rice


For correspondence (e-mail genean@khu.ac.kr).


Flowering is exquisitely regulated by both promotive and inhibitory factors. Molecular genetic studies with Arabidopsis have verified several epigenetic repressors that regulate flowering time. However, the roles of chromatin remodeling factors in developmental processes have not been well explored in Oryza sativa (rice). We identified a chromatin remodeling factor OsVIL2 (O. sativa VIN3-LIKE 2) that promotes flowering. OsVIL2 contains a plant homeodomain (PHD) finger, which is a conserved motif of histone binding proteins. Insertion mutations in OsVIL2 caused late flowering under both long and short days. In osvil2 mutants OsLFL1 expression was increased, but that of Ehd1, Hd3a and RFT1 was reduced. We demonstrated that OsVIL2 is bound to native histone H3 in vitro. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses showed that OsVIL2 was directly associated with OsLFL1 chromatin. We also observed that H3K27me3 was significantly enriched by OsLFL1 chromatin in the wild type, but that this enrichment was diminished in the osvil2 mutants. These results indicated that OsVIL2 epigenetically represses OsLFL1 expression. We showed that OsVIL2 physically interacts with OsEMF2b, a component of polycomb repression complex 2. As observed from osvil2, a null mutation of OsEMF2b caused late flowering by increasing OsLFL1 expression and decreasing Ehd1 expression. Thus, we conclude that OsVIL2 functions together with PRC2 to induce flowering by repressing OsLFL1.