Recent Posts

Powering Epigenetics through the 1C Pathway

By Lisa Smith and Nathan Butler Epigenetic modifications in plants repress transposable elements to maintain genome stability and facilitate adaptation to changing environmental conditions by regulating the expression of some genes. Furthermore, conditions such as disease stress can alter the epigenetic…

Variability of paternally imprinted gene expression linked to hybridization failure in Capsella (Nature Plants)

Hybrid seed lethality represents a major reproductive barrier in angiosperms and facilitates species divergence over evolutionary times. Hybrid seed lethality is mainly due to defective endosperm development, leading to embryo arrest. Hybrid seed defects show a parent-of-origin effect, but the underlying…

Stay CLASSY: Control of locus-specific de novo DNA methylation by the CLASSY family ($) (Nature Genet.)

DNA methylation is fundamental for genome function and stability, including regulation of gene expression, silencing of transposable elements and control of recombination. While the processes involved in maintenance of DNA methylation are generally well understood, the factors required for locus-specific…

DNA methylation dynamics during early plant life

DNA methylation is extensively reprogrammed in the early embryo and germlines of mammals, whereas flowering plants do not show such extensive resetting except in the endosperm. Active DNA demethylation in the central cell and reduced activity of DNA methyltransferases leads to global hypomethylation…

Extensive transcriptomic and epigenomic remodelling occurs during Arabidopsis thaliana germination

Understanding the complex regulatory mechanisms that contribute to germination and seedling establishment requires integration of gene-expression, transcription factors (TFs), DNA methylation, smallRNA data, and their interactions. Narsai et al. describe the first dynamic transcription factor network…

Comparison of the relative potential for epigenetic and genetic variation to contribute to trait stability

Epigenetic variation, both natural and induced, can influence heritable phenotypic variation of complex traits. Understanding the effect of epigenetic changes on trait variation is complicated by the confounding effects of DNA sequence polymorphisms. To overcome this complication, epigenetic recombinant…

Similarity between soybean and Arabidopsis seed methylomes and loss of non-CG methylation does not affect seed development

Different parts of the seed have distinct genetic origins and functions. The seed coat is maternally derived from ovule integuments, whereas the embryo descends from the fertilized egg and the endosperm from the central cell. Lin et al. profiled the methylome landscape during seed development and germination…

TET-mediated epimutagenesis of the Arabidopsis thaliana methylome

Natural and induced DNA methylation variations are known to alter gene expression changes that may ultimately be important for agronomically important traits. Epigenetically manipulating plant methylomes to create heritable changes can be invaluable in crop improvement programs. Ji et al. describe the…

Loss of mCHH islands in maize chromomethylase and DDM1-type nucleosome remodeler mutants

Plant DNA methylation in different sequence contexts is catalyzed by distinct types of methyltransferases. METHYLTRANSFERASE 1 (MET1) is responsible for CG methylation, CHROMOMETHYLASE (CMT1, 2, and 3) methylates CHG and CHH, while DOMAINS REARRANGED METHYLTRANSFERASE (DRM1 and 2) methylates in all three…