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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011 Aug;1809(8):369-78. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2011.03.002. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

Epigenetic control of gene regulation in plants.

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Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto di Biologia e Biotecnologia Agraria, Milano, Italy.


In eukaryotes, including plants, the genome is compacted into chromatin, which forms a physical barrier for gene transcription. Therefore, mechanisms that alter chromatin structure play an essential role in gene regulation. When changes in the chromatin states are inherited trough mitotic or meiotic cell division, the mechanisms responsible for these changes are defined as epigenetic. In this paper, we review data arising from genome-wide analysis of the epigenetic landscapes in different plant species to establish the correlation between specific epigenetic marks and transcription. In the subsequent sections, mechanisms of epigenetic control of gene regulation mediated by DNA-binding transcription factors and by transposons located in proximity to genes are illustrated. Finally, plant peculiarities for epigenetic control of gene regulation and future perspectives in this research area are discussed. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Epigenetic Control of cellular and developmental processes in plants.

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