Zhang, Wei and Huang, Jun and Cook, David E
Transcriptional dynamic in response to environmental and developmental cues are fundamental to biology, yet many mechanistic aspects are poorly understood. One such example is fungal plant pathogens, which use secreted proteins and small molecules, termed effectors, to suppress host immunity and promote colonization. Effectors are highly expressed in planta but remain transcriptionally repressed ex planta, but our mechanistic understanding of these transcriptional dynamics remains limited. We tested the hypothesis that repressive histone modification at H3-Lys27 underlies transcriptional silencing ex planta, and that exchange for an active chemical modification contributes to transcription of in planta induced genes. Using genetics, chromatin immunoprecipitation and sequencing and RNA-sequencing, we determined that H3K27me3 provides significant local transcriptional repression. We detail how regions that lose H3K27me3 gain H3K27ac, and these changes are associated with increased transcription. Importantly, we observed that many in planta induced genes were marked by H3K27me3 during axenic growth, and detail how altered H3K27 modification influences transcription. ChIP-qPCR during in planta growth suggests that H3K27 modifications are generally stable, but can undergo dynamics at specific genomic locations. Our results support the hypothesis that dynamic histone modifications at H3K27 contributes to fungal genome regulation and specifically contributes to regulation of genes important during host infection.