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Trends Plant Sci. 2014 May;19(5):320-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2014.01.014. Epub 2014 Mar 4.

DNA methylation as a system of plant genomic immunity.

Author information

1
Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
2
Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. Electronic address: danielz@berkeley.edu.

Abstract

Transposons are selfish genetic sequences that can increase their copy number and inflict substantial damage on their hosts. To combat these genomic parasites, plants have evolved multiple pathways to identify and silence transposons by methylating their DNA. Plants have also evolved mechanisms to limit the collateral damage from the antitransposon machinery. In this review, we examine recent developments that have elucidated many of the molecular workings of these pathways. We also highlight the evidence that the methylation and demethylation pathways interact, indicating that plants have a highly sophisticated, integrated system of transposon defense that has an important role in the regulation of gene expression.

PMID:
24618094
DOI:
10.1016/j.tplants.2014.01.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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