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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 Feb;1819(2):129-36. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2011.06.008. Epub 2011 Jun 25.

Chromatin modifications and remodeling in plant abiotic stress responses.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Plant Resources Conservation and Sustainable Utilization, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China.


Sensing environmental changes and initiating a gene expression response are important for plants as sessile autotrophs. The ability of epigenetic status to alter rapidly and reversibly could be a key component to the flexibility of plant responses to the environment. The involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in the response to environmental cues and to different types of abiotic stresses has been documented. Different environmental stresses lead to altered methylation status of DNA as well as modifications of nucleosomal histones. Understanding how epigenetic mechanisms are involved in plant response to environmental stress is highly desirable, not just for a better understanding of molecular mechanisms of plant stress response but also for possible application in the genetic manipulation of plants. In this review, we highlight our current understanding of the epigenetic mechanisms of chromatin modifications and remodeling, with emphasis on the roles of specific modification enzymes and remodeling factors in plant abiotic stress responses. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Plant gene regulation in response to abiotic stress.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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