Epigenetic reprogramming in plant and animal development.

06:00 EDT 30th October 2010 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Epigenetic reprogramming in plant and animal development."

Epigenetic modifications of the genome are generally stable in somatic cells of multicellular organisms. In germ cells and early embryos, however, epigenetic reprogramming occurs on a genome-wide scale, which includes demethylation of DNA and remodeling of histones and their modifications. The mechanisms of genome-wide erasure of DNA methylation, which involve modifications to 5-methylcytosine and DNA repair, are being unraveled. Epigenetic reprogramming has important roles in imprinting, the natural as well as experimental acquisition of totipotency and pluripotency, control of transposons, and epigenetic inheritance across generations. Small RNAs and the inheritance of histone marks may also contribute to epigenetic inheritance and reprogramming. Reprogramming occurs in flowering plants and in mammals, and the similarities and differences illuminate developmental and reproductive strategies.


Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Science (New York, N.Y.)
ISSN: 1095-9203
Pages: 622-7


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

The process that reverts CELL NUCLEI of fully differentiated somatic cells to a pluripotent or totipotent state. This process can be achieved to a certain extent by NUCLEAR TRANSFER TECHNIQUES, such as fusing somatic cell nuclei with enucleated pluripotent embryonic stem cells or enucleated totipotent oocytes. GENE EXPRESSION PROFILING of the fused hybrid cells is used to determine the degree of reprogramming. Dramatic results of nuclear reprogramming include the generation of cloned mammals, such as Dolly the sheep in 1997.

The systematic study of the global gene expression changes due to EPIGENETIC PROCESSES and not due to DNA base sequence changes.

Process whereby a cell, bodily structure, or organism (animal or plant) receives or detects a gravity stimulus. Gravity sensing plays an important role in the directional growth and development of an organism (GRAVITROPISM).

The process of germ cell development in plants, from the primordial PLANT GERM CELLS to the mature haploid PLANT GAMETES.

The sequence of transfers of matter and energy from organism to organism in the form of FOOD. Food chains intertwine locally into a food web because most organisms consume more than one type of animal or plant. PLANTS, which convert SOLAR ENERGY to food by PHOTOSYNTHESIS, are the primary food source. In a predator chain, a plant-eating animal is eaten by a larger animal. In a parasite chain, a smaller organism consumes part of a larger host and may itself be parasitized by smaller organisms. In a saprophytic chain, microorganisms live on dead organic matter.


Relevant Topics

The development and maintenance of an organism is orchestrated by a set of chemical reactions that switch parts of the genome off and on at strategic times and locations. Epigenetics is the study of these reactions and the factors that influence them. ...

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