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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2002 Apr;5(2):101-6.

Epialleles - a source of random variation in times of stress.

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CSIRO, Plant Industry, Canberra, ACT, Australia.


With the advent of biotechnology, epigenetics has gained in respectability. Recently, focus has moved away from the problems caused by the epigenetic silencing of transgenes to the adaptive advantages offered by stochastic epigenetic variation. Epialleles can form in response to environmental and genomic stresses, including polyploidization. They may be important in acclimation to a range of environmental conditions and in stabilizing polyploid genomes.

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