Epigenome plasticity in plants

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Plant intra-individual and inter-individual variation can be determined by the epigenome, a set of covalent modifications of DNA and chromatin that can alter genome structure and activity without changes to the genome sequence. The epigenome of plant cells is plastic, that is, it can change in response to internal or external cues, such as during development or due to environmental changes, to create a memory of such events. Ongoing advances in technologies to read and write epigenomic patterns with increasing resolution, scale and precision are enabling the extent of plant epigenome variation to be more extensively characterized and functionally interrogated. In this Review, we discuss epigenome dynamics and variation within plants during development and in response to environmental changes, including stress, as well as between plants. We review known or potential functions of such plasticity and emphasize the importance of investigating the causality of epigenomic changes. Finally, we discuss emerging technologies that may underpin future research into plant epigenome plasticity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-68
Number of pages14
JournalNature Reviews-Genetics
Issue number1
Early online date15 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


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