Different histone modifications often modify DNA-histone interactions affecting both local and global structure of chromatin, thereby providing a vast potential for functional responses. Most studies have focused on the role of several modifications in gene transcription regulation, being scarce on other aspects of eukaryotic chromosome structure during cell division, mainly in meiosis. To solve this issue we have performed a cytological analysis to determine the chromosomal distribution of several histone H3 modifications throughout all phases of both mitosis and meiosis in different plant species. We have chosen Aegilops sp. and Secale cereale (monocots) and Arabidopsis thaliana (dicots) because they differ in their phylogenetic affiliation as well as in content and distribution of constitutive heterochromatin. In the species analyzed, the patterns of H3 acetylation and methylation were held constant through mitosis, including modifications associated with "open chromatin". Likewise, the immunolabeling patterns of H3 methylation remained invariable throughout meiosis in all cases. On the contrary, there was a total loss of acetylated H3 immunosignals on condensed chromosomes in both meiotic divisions, but only in monocot species. Regarding the phosphorylation of histone H3 at Ser10, present on condensed chromosomes, although we did not observe any difference in the dynamics, we found slight differences between the chromosomal distribution of this modification between Arabidopsis and cereals (Aegilops sp. and rye). Thus far, in plants chromosome condensation throughout cell division appears to be associated with a particular combination of H3 modifications. Moreover, the distribution and dynamics of these modifications seem to be species-specific and even differ between mitosis and meiosis in the same species.
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