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Epigenetic regulation and reprogramming during gamete formation in plants.

Type of publication Not peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Review article (non peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2011
Author Baroux Célia, Raissig Michael T, Grossniklaus Ueli,
Project The chromatin basis of plant genome plasticity: Chromatin dynamics during sexual reproduction and clonal propagation
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Review article (non 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.