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DNA methylation dynamics in response to abiotic and pathogen stress in plants

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Abstract

DNA methylation is a dynamic epigenetic mechanism that plays a significant role in gene expression and also maintains chromatin stability. The process is conserved in both plants and animals, and crucial for development and stress responses. Differential DNA methylation during adverse environmental conditions or pathogen attack facilitates the selective expression of defense-related genes. Both stress-induced DNA hypomethylation and hypermethylation play beneficial roles in activating the defense response. These DNA marks may be carried to the next generation making the progenies ‘primed’ for abiotic and biotic stress responses. Over the recent years, rapid advancements in the area of high throughput sequencing have enabled the detection of methylation status at genome levels in several plant species. Epigenotyping offers an alternative tool to plant breeders in addition to conventional markers for the selection of the desired offspring. In this review, we briefly discuss the mechanism of DNA methylation, recent understanding of DNA methylation-mediated gene regulation during abiotic and biotic stress responses, and stress memory in plants.

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Acknowledgements

Authors’ work in this area is supported by J.C. Bose National Fellowship Grant of Science and Engineering Research Board, Govt. of India (File No.: JCB/2018/000001). RKS acknowledges the DBT Multi-institutional project entitled- “Germplasm Characterization and Trait Discovery in Wheat using Genomics Approaches and its Integration for Improving Climate Resilience, Productivity and Nutritional quality" under the mission programme of "Characterisation of Genetic Resources”, [BT/Ag/Network/Wheat/2019-20] for the research grant. NS acknowledges Science and Engineering Research Board Women Excellence Award (WEA/2020/000004) for the research grant. The authors are thankful to DBT-eLibrary Consortium (DeLCON) for providing access to the e-resources. All the images were created using Biorender.com.

Funding

Authors’ work in this area is supported by research grants from Ministry of Science and Technology, Gov. of India (JCB/2018/000001 and BT/Ag/Network/Wheat/2019-20).

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MP conceived the idea; HA, RKS, SS, NS, AP, TD, AP prepared the manuscript, RKS and MP revised the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Manoj Prasad.

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Dr. Manoj Prasad is one of the editors of this journal and all other authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Arora, H., Singh, R.K., Sharma, S. et al. DNA methylation dynamics in response to abiotic and pathogen stress in plants. Plant Cell Rep 41, 1931–1944 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00299-022-02901-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00299-022-02901-x

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