Review: Entering the next dimension – plant genomes in 3D (Trends Plant Sci)

The three-dimensional arrangement of DNA within the nucleus clearly affects gene expression, but its contribution remains relatively unexplored as compared to other factors. Sotelo-Silveira et al. review new chromosome conformation capture (3C) and derived techniques for assessing genomes in 3D, as well as the corresponding biological consequences of the 3D layout. Because understanding nuclear architecture depends on knowing the sequence of the genome, our understanding is advancing rapidly thanks to cheap and fast sequencing methods, as well as methods to profile mRNA levels and epigenetic marks. As the authors report, “The latest studies also include the simultaneous characterization of chromatin accessibility, DNA methylation, histone modification, and gene expression, trying to link these characteristics to the 3D organization information.” This review provides an excellent overview of our current  understanding of the 3D structure of genomes across species and cell types and during development and stress response, and highlights additional questions that remain to be resolved. (Summary by Mary Williams) Trends Plant Sci. 10.1016/j.tplants.2018.03.014