Faithful DNA replication maintains genome stability in dividing cells and from one generation to the next. This is particularly important in plants because the whole plant body and reproductive cells originate from meristematic cells that retain their proliferative capacity throughout the life cycle of the organism. DNA replication involves large sets of proteins whose activity is strictly regulated, and is tightly linked to the DNA damage response to detect and respond to replication errors or defects. Central to this interconnection is the replicative polymerase DNA Polymerase ϵ (Pol ϵ) which participates in DNA replication per se, as well as replication stress response in animals and in yeast. Surprisingly, its function has to date been little explored in plants, and notably its relationship with DNA Damage Response (DDR) has not been investigated. Here, we have studied the role of the largest regulatory sub-unit of Arabidopsis DNA Pol ϵ: DPB2, using an over-expression strategy. We demonstrate that excess accumulation of the protein impairs DNA replication and causes endogenous DNA stress. Furthermore, we show that Pol ϵ dysfunction has contrasting outcomes in vegetative and reproductive cells and leads to the activation of distinct DDR pathways in the two cell types.
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