Next Article in Journal
Green Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles through Reduction with Solanum xanthocarpum L. Berry Extract: Characterization, Antimicrobial and Urease Inhibitory Activities against Helicobacter pylori
Next Article in Special Issue
RNA-Mediated Gene Silencing Signals Are Not Graft Transmissible from the Rootstock to the Scion in Greenhouse-Grown Apple Plants Malus sp.
Previous Article in Journal
Development of Microsatellite Markers Using Pyrosequencing in Galium trifidum (Rubiaceae), a Rare Species in Central Europe
Previous Article in Special Issue
Molecular Characterization and Comparative Sequence Analysis of Defense-Related Gene, Oryza rufipogon Receptor-Like Protein Kinase 1
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(8), 9900-9922; doi:10.3390/ijms13089900

Molecular Mechanisms of Epigenetic Variation in Plants

Graduate School of Science and Technology, Niigata University, Nishi-ku, Niigata 950-2181, Japan
Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Dr. Bohrgasse 3, Vienna 1030, Austria
Laboratory of Plant Breeding, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Kobe University, Nada, Kobe 657-8510, Japan
Cell and Developmental Biology, John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich NR4 7UH, UK
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Plant Industry, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
Watanabe Seed Co., Ltd, Machiyashiki, Misato-cho, Miyagi 987-8607, Japan
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 May 2012 / Revised: 27 July 2012 / Accepted: 30 July 2012 / Published: 8 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Plant Biology)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [630 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]   |  


Natural variation is defined as the phenotypic variation caused by spontaneous mutations. In general, mutations are associated with changes of nucleotide sequence, and many mutations in genes that can cause changes in plant development have been identified. Epigenetic change, which does not involve alteration to the nucleotide sequence, can also cause changes in gene activity by changing the structure of chromatin through DNA methylation or histone modifications. Now there is evidence based on induced or spontaneous mutants that epigenetic changes can cause altering plant phenotypes. Epigenetic changes have occurred frequently in plants, and some are heritable or metastable causing variation in epigenetic status within or between species. Therefore, heritable epigenetic variation as well as genetic variation has the potential to drive natural variation.
Keywords: epigenetic; DNA methylation; metastable; natural variation epigenetic; DNA methylation; metastable; natural variation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Fujimoto, R.; Sasaki, T.; Ishikawa, R.; Osabe, K.; Kawanabe, T.; Dennis, E.S. Molecular Mechanisms of Epigenetic Variation in Plants. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 9900-9922.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top