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 post-translational marks to the regulation of plant biotic interactions. They stress-out the bi-directionality of these interactions, discussing experimental evidences about (1) how biotic interactors modulate the plant’s epigenetic landscape and (2) how the plant’s epigenetic configuration influences the response to the biotic stress. The authors highlight the need for a better integration of ecology, molecular biology and genomics in order to harness biotic interaction-induced epigenetic variation for phenotypic traits improvement. (Summary by Matthias Benoit). New Phytologist  10.1111/nph.15408