Epigenetics

Plants monitor day/night and seasonal cycles to align their metabolism, growth, and development to changing environmental conditions. This plasticity requires signal perception/integration, changing gene expression in response to those signals, and then maintenance of that response until conditions change again. Epigenetic regulation appear as a new mechanism of changing gene expression, that allow changed states to persist through cell divisions, even in the absence of the inducing stimulus providing a molecular memory that underpins the maintenance phase of these responses. Whether specific epigenetic changes have accompanied domestication is an important question of potential relevance for plant breeding. Here we propose to address this question to open new opportunities for chickpea breeding by epigenetic engineering. This work is supported by the RNF grant 16-16-0007.

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