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Epigenetic regulation and reprogramming during gamete formation in plants.

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Review article (peer-reviewed)
Author Baroux Célia, Raissig Michael T, Grossniklaus Ueli,
Project The genetic and molecular basis of gametogenesis and maternal effects in arabidopsis
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Review article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Current opinion in genetics & development
Volume (Issue) 21(2)
Page(s) 124 - 33
Title of proceedings Current opinion in genetics & development
DOI 10.1016/j.gde.2011.01.017


Plants and animals reproduce sexually via specialized, highly differentiated gametes. Yet, gamete formation drastically differs between the two kingdoms. In flowering plants, the specification of cells destined to enter meiosis occurs late in development, gametic and accessory cells are usually derived from the same meiotic product, and two distinct female gametes involved in double fertilization differentiate. This poses fascinating questions in terms of gamete development and the associated epigenetic processes. Although studies in this area remain at their infancy, it becomes clear that large-scale epigenetic reprogramming, involving RNA-directed DNA methylation, chromatin modifications, and nucleosome remodeling, contributes to the establishment of transcriptionally repressive or permissive epigenetic landscapes. Furthermore, a role for small RNAs in the regulation of transposable elements during gametogenesis is emerging.