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

Molecular Mechanisms of Epigenetic Variation in Plants

1,†,* , 2,†
, 3,4
, 5
, 6
 and 5
Received: 30 May 2012; in revised form: 27 July 2012 / Accepted: 30 July 2012 / Published: 8 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Plant Biology)
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Abstract: 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 which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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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.

AMA Style

Fujimoto R, Sasaki T, Ishikawa R, Osabe K, Kawanabe T, Dennis ES. Molecular Mechanisms of Epigenetic Variation in Plants. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2012; 13(8):9900-9922.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fujimoto, Ryo; Sasaki, Taku; Ishikawa, Ryo; Osabe, Kenji; Kawanabe, Takahiro; Dennis, Elizabeth S. 2012. "Molecular Mechanisms of Epigenetic Variation in Plants." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 13, no. 8: 9900-9922.



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