Plant Epigenetic Mechanisms in Response to Biotic Stress

Roberts, Mike and López Sánchez, Ana (2019) Plant Epigenetic Mechanisms in Response to Biotic Stress. In: Epigenetics in Plants of Agronomic Importance. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 65-113. ISBN 9783030147594

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The environment changes faster than the ability of genetic recombination to generate natural genetic diversity. In this context, epigenetic regulation of gene expression has the potential to provide organisms with an alternative mechanism for phenotypic variation by controlling the extent of plasticity that can be achieved in response to environmental changes. There is now substantial evidence suggesting roles for epigenetic regulation of several different aspects of the plant response to biotic stress. At the basic level of gene expression, posttranscriptional gene silencing mediated by small RNAs and chromatin remodelling controlling transcriptional gene silencing are essential for the induced resistance responses activated during pest and pathogen attack. Beyond this, there is also evidence that histone modifications and DNA methylation are associated with immune memory, or defence priming, such as systemic acquired resistance (SAR). In addition, recent evidence indicates that epigenetic modifications can also generate longer-term defence priming responses that can be inherited across generations. In this chapter, we will discuss the roles of epigenetics in these different modes of biotic stress resistance, and suggest ways in which we may in the future be able to exploit epigenetic systems for crop protection.

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01 Aug 2019 13:10
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21 Sep 2023 03:58