siRNAs and DNA methylation: seedy epigenetics

Rebecca A. Mosher, Charles W. Melnyk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

82 Scopus citations

Abstract

To understand how DNA sequence is translated to phenotype we must understand the epigenetic features that regulate gene expression. Recent research illuminates the complex interactions between DNA methylation, small RNAs, silencing of transposable elements, and genomic imprinting in the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) seed. These studies suggest that transposable elements reactivated in specific cells of the gametophyte and seed might enhance silencing of transposable elements in the germline and embryo. By sacrificing genomic integrity these cells might make an epigenetic rather than genetic contribution to the progeny. This research could have implications for interspecies hybridization, the evolution of genomic imprinting, and epigenetic communication from plant to progeny.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-210
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science

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