Ecological plant epigenetics: Evidence from model and non-model species, and the way forward – Archive ouverte HAL

Christina RichardsConchita AlonsoClaude Becker 1 Oliver Bossdorf 2 Etienne Bucher 3 Maria Colome-Tatche 4 Walter Durka 5 Jan EngelhardtBence GasparAndreas Gogol-DöringIvo Grosse 6 Thomas van GurpKatrin Heer 7 Ilkka Kronholm 8 Christian LampeiVít LatzelMarie Mirouze 9 Lars OpgenoorthOvidiu Paun 10 Sonja ProhaskaStefan RensingPeter Stadler 11 Emiliano Trucchi 12 Kristian UllrichKoen VerhoevenTim Coulson 13

Christina Richards, Conchita Alonso, Claude Becker, Oliver Bossdorf, Etienne Bucher, et al.. Ecological plant epigenetics: Evidence from model and non-model species, and the way forward. Ecology Letters, Wiley, 2017, 20 (12), pp.1576-1590. ⟨10.1111/ele.12858⟩. ⟨hal-02098587⟩

Growing evidence shows that epigenetic mechanisms contribute to complex traits, with implications across many fields of biology. In plant ecology, recent studies have attempted to merge ecological experiments with epigenetic analyses to elucidate the contribution of epigenetics to plant phenotypes, stress responses, adaptation to habitat, and range distributions. While there has been some progress in revealing the role of epigenetics in ecological processes, studies with non-model species have so far been limited to describing broad patterns based on anonymous markers of DNA methylation. In contrast, studies with model species have benefited from powerful genomic resources, which contribute to a more mechanistic understanding but have limited ecological realism. Understanding the significance of epigenetics for plant ecology requires increased transfer of knowledge and methods from model species research to genomes of evolutionarily divergent species, and examination of responses to complex natural environments at a more mechanistic level. This requires transforming genomics tools specifically for studying non-model species, which is challenging given the large and often polyploid genomes of plants. Collaboration among molecular geneticists, ecologists and bioinformaticians promises to enhance our understanding of the mutual links between genome function and ecological processes.

  • 1. GMI – Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology
  • 2. Plant Evolutionary Ecology
  • 3. IRHS – Institut de Recherche en Horticulture et Semences
  • 4. LPTMS – Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques
  • 5. UFZ – Helmholtz Zentrum für Umweltforschung
  • 6. Inst Comp Sci
  • 7. Institute of Experimental Ecology Germany, Conservation Biology and Ecology
  • 8. Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics
  • 9. UMR DIADE – Diversité, adaptation, développement des plantes
  • 10. Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research
  • 11. Carl-Maria-von-Weber-Gesamtausgabe
  • 12. CEES – Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis
  • 13. Department of Zoology [Oxford]

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