Open chromatin in grapevine marks candidate CREs and with other chromatin features correlates with gene expression

Rachel Schwope, Gabriele Magris, Mara Miculan, Eleonora Paparelli, Mirko Celii, Aldo Tocci, Fabio Marroni, Alice Fornasiero, Emanuele De Paoli, Michele Morgante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Vitis vinifera is an economically important crop and a useful model in which to study chromatin dynamics. In contrast to the small and relatively simple genome of Arabidopsis thaliana, grapevine contains a complex genome of 487 Mb that exhibits extensive colonization by transposable elements. We used Hi-C, ChIP-seq and ATAC-seq to measure how chromatin features correlate to the expression of 31,845 grapevine genes. ATAC-seq revealed the presence of more than 16,000 open chromatin regions, of which we characterize nearly 5000 as possible distal enhancer candidates that occur in intergenic space >2kb from the nearest TSS. A motif search identified more than 480 transcription factor binding sites in these regions, with those for TCP family proteins in greatest abundance. These open chromatin regions are typically within 15 kb from their nearest promoter, and a gene ontology analysis indicated that their nearest genes are significantly enriched for transcription factor activity. The presence of a candidate cis-regulatory element (cCRE) >2kb upstream of the TSS, location in the active nuclear compartment as determined by Hi-C, and the enrichment of H3K4me3, H3K4me1, and H3K27ac at the gene are correlated with gene expression. Taken together, these results suggest that regions of intergenic open chromatin identified by ATAC-seq can be considered potential candidates for cis-regulatory regions in Vitis vinifera. Our findings enhance the characterization of a valuable agricultural crop and help to clarify the understanding of unique plant biology.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalThe Plant Journal
StatePublished - Jul 5 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-07-07

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics


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