Entries by Matthias Benoit

Heritable phenotypic variation due to partial maintenance of organ-specific epigenetic marks during asexual reproduction ($) (PNAS)

Clonal propagation is widely used by humans to maintain and propagate desirable phenotypic traits in plants. Despite a restricted genetic variety, phenotypical difference, known a somaclonal variation, arises sometimes between parents and the clonally propagated progeny. Some of this variability is attributed to epigenetic variation, but the origins and underlying molecular principles remain unclear. By […]

Tea genome expansion linked to TE bursts (Plant Biotechnol. J.)

Expansion of plant genomes is thought to be linked to massive bursts of transposable elements activity. This implies consequences on the distribution of epigenetic modifications required for the silencing of the causative transposons. Consequences of transposon bursts have been extensively described in compact plant genomes such as Arabidopsis or rice, but similar analyses in very […]

Postzygotic reproductive isolation via sequestration of a transposon-derived siRNA ($) (Devel. Cell)

Hybridization of plants with distinct chromosome number often results in seed development defects due to a phenomenon known as the triploid block. While this is triggered by the unbalanced expression of some paternally and maternally imprinted alleles, the molecular basis of the triploid block is not fully understood. The authors describe here that the paternally […]

Stony hard phenotype in peach due to transposon insertion into YUCCA ($) (Plant J)

Fruit softening in melting-flesh peaches is triggered by a major accumulation of ethylene at the late stage of ripening. Existence of stony hard peaches showing inhibition of fruit softening has been correlated with low levels of indole-3-acetic-acid inducing low levels of ethylene, but the underlying molecular cause remains unknown. Using ultra-performance liquid chromatography and tandem […]

DNA methylation footprints during soybean domestication and improvement (Genome Biol)

Crop domestication relies on harnessing the natural genomic diversity present in the cultivated population. The contribution of genetic variation for selection and improvement of traits in plants has been extensively studied. Besides this, variation in epigenetic components such as DNA methylation offers an alternative and mostly independent source of variability, but the contribution of epigenetic […]

Early and transient loss of transposon control in Arabidopsis shoot stem cells (bioRxiv)

Postembryonic development in plants relies on stem cells located within the shoot apical meristem. Male and female gametes are descendants of those stem cells and maintenance of genome stability in this pool of cells is thus fundamental. In-depth molecular analysis has so far been hindered by the tedious isolation of shoot apical meristem stem cells. […]

Review: Spontaneous epimutations in plants (New Phytol)

Spontaneous epimutations are stochastic and heritable changes of DNA methylation in genomes. In this review, Johannes and Schmitz discuss the molecular origins of spontaneous epimutations in plants as well as their functional and phenotypical consequences. The authors highlight that spontaneous epimutations are frequent in plant genomes and are likely induced by events interfering with the […]

Review: The role of plant epigenetics in biotic interactions (New Phytol.)

Plant phenotypes are influenced by the nature and intensity of biotic interactions. While the role of genetic diversity has been extensively studied, contribution of epigenetics to plant fitness and response to biotic stresses remains elusive. The authors review here the most recent literature about the contribution of epigenetic marks such as DNA methylation and histone […]

What We’re Reading: October 19th

This week’s edition is guest edited by Matthias Benoit, a postdoctoral Research Associate at The Sainsbury Laboratory University of Cambridge. His research focuses on the developmental, environmental and epigenetic regulation of tomato retrotransposons. His favorite models of study are fruit development and ripening, and abiotic stresses. He’s also engaged in teaching and communicating plant sciences. Plantae Profile.   […]