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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2005 Apr;8(2):142-7.

Arabidopsis epigenetics: when RNA meets chromatin.

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  • 1Unité de Recherche en Génomique Végétale, INRA/CNRS/UEVE, 2 rue Gaston Crémieux, 91057 Evry Cedex, France.


Recent work in plants and other eukaryotes has uncovered a major role for RNA interference in silent chromatin formation. The heritability of the silent state through multiple cell division cycles and, in some instances, through meiosis is assured by epigenetic marks. In plants, transposable elements and transgenes provide striking examples of the stable inheritance of repressed states, and are characterized by dense DNA methylation and heterochromatin histone modifications. Arabidopsis is a useful higher eukaryotes model with which to explore the crossroads between silent chromatin and RNA interference both during development and in the genome-wide control of repeat elements.

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