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Mol Plant. 2014 Mar;7(3):472-80. doi: 10.1093/mp/sst165. Epub 2013 Nov 22.

Covering your bases: inheritance of DNA methylation in plant genomes.

Author information

1
Department of Genetics, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.

Abstract

Cytosine methylation is an important base modification that is inherited across mitotic and meiotic cell divisions in plant genomes. Heritable methylation variants can contribute to within-species phenotypic variation. Few methylation variants were known until recently, making it possible to begin to address major unanswered questions: the extent of natural methylation variation within plant genomes, its effects on phenotypic variation, its degree of dependence on genotype, and how it fits into an evolutionary context. Techniques like whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) make it possible to determine cytosine methylation states at single-base resolution across entire genomes and populations. Application of this method to natural and novel experimental populations is revealing answers to these long-standing questions about the role of DNA methylation in plant genomes.

KEYWORDS:

DNA methylation; epiallele; epigenetics; whole-genome bisulfite sequencing.

PMID:
24270503
PMCID:
PMC3941479
DOI:
10.1093/mp/sst165
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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