Diversification of histone H2A variants during plant evolution

Tomokazu Kawashima, Zdravko J. Lorković, Ryuichi Nishihama, Kimitsune Ishizaki, Elin Axelsson, Ramesh Yelagandula, Takayuki Kohchi, Frederic Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Among eukaryotes, the four core histones show an extremely high conservation of their structure and form nucleosomes that compact, protect, and regulate access to genetic information. Nevertheless, in multicellular eukaryotes the two families, histone H2A and histone H3, have diversified significantly in key residues. We present a phylogenetic analysis across the green plant lineage that reveals an early diversification of the H2A family in unicellular green algae and remarkable expansions of H2A variants in flowering plants. We define motifs and domains that differentiate plant H2A proteins into distinct variant classes. In non-flowering land plants, we identify a new class of H2A variants and propose their possible role in the emergence of the H2A.W variant class in flowering plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-425
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Chromatin
  • Evolution
  • Histone H2A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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