We have studied the trimethylation dynamics of lysines 4 and 27 of histone H3 in rye with and without B chromosomes (Bs) in root tip mitosis, meiosis, and pollen grain mitosis by immunostaining. In root meristems, H3K4me3 immunolabeling was homogeneous along the chromosome arms of the normal complement (As), with the exception of the pericentromeric and subtelomeric regions which were unlabeled. On the contrary, a signal was observed on the long arm of the B chromosome, in the region where most of the B-specific repeats are located. H3K27me3 immunosignals were observed on the subtelomeric heterochromatic region of the As and the Bs and some interstitial bands of the As. Thus, the terminal region of the Bs showed both signals, whereas the subtelomeric region of the As showed H3K27me3 immunosignals only. During meiosis and first pollen grain mitosis, the immunosignals were observed distributed as in the root tip mitosis in plants with or without Bs. However, we observed remarkable changes in the immunolabeling patterns during the second pollen grain mitosis between 0B and +B plants. In 0B plants, H3K4me3 immunosignals were similarly distributed in the vegetative and generative nuclei. In B-carrying plants, the vegetative nucleus showed a lighter signal than the generative one. In 0B plants, all nuclei of the microgametophyte showed H3K27me3 immunosignals. In B-carrying plants, the generative nucleus and, correspondingly, the second metaphase, anaphase, and sperm nuclei did not show any signal. When the Bs were lost as micronuclei, they did not show any H3K4me3 or H3K27me3 signal. Most remarkably, Bs are able to change the pattern of H3 methylation on K4 and K27 during the second pollen mitosis, resulting in differently labeled sperm nuclei in 0 and +B plants.

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