Epigenetic events in plant male germ cell heat stress responses

Inserted by: Bernd Märtens


Yuanyuan Chen, Florian Müller, Ivo Rieu, Peter Winter


Plants grow in an ever-changing environment and are used to environmental fluctuations such as high and low temperatures during their life cycle. To cope with adverse conditions, plants evolved intricate short-term and long-term mechanisms to respond and adapt to external stresses. The plant’s ability to respond to stresses largely depends on its capacity to modulate the transcriptome rapidly and specifically. Epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, chromatin dynamics and small RNAs, play an essential role in the regulation of stress-responsive gene expression. Stress-related covalent modifications of DNA and histones can be passed on during mitosis and even over meiosis to the next generation and provide a memory that enables the plant and even its offspring to adopt better to a subsequent stress. Plant reproduction, in particular pollen development, is the most stress-sensitive process in the life cycle of the organism. In particular, developmental stages around the meiotic and mitotic division are most vulnerable. In this review, we highlight the current understanding of the epigenetic mechanisms involved in pollen development and speculate on their roles in pollen heat stress response.


Plant Reprod, 2015 Dec 6, 1-9. DOI 10.1007/s00497-015-0271-5


Jun 2015