A hypomethylated population of Brassica rapa for forward and reverse epi-genetics

BMC Plant Biology
Stephen AmoahGraham J King


Epigenetic marks superimposed on the DNA sequence of eukaryote chromosomes provide agility and plasticity in terms of modulating gene expression, ontology, and response to the environment. Modulating the methylation status of cytosine can generate epialleles, which have been detected and characterised at specific loci in several plant systems, and have the potential to generate novel and relatively stable phenotypes. There have been no systematic attempts to explore and utilise epiallelic variation, and so extend the range of phenotypes available for selection in crop improvement. We developed an approach for generating novel epialleles by perturbation of the DNA methylation status. 5- Azacytidine (5-AzaC) provides selective targeting of 5 mCG, which in plants is associated with exonic DNA. Targeted chemical intervention using 5-AzaC has advantages over transgenic or mutant modulation of methyltransferases, allowing stochastic generation of epialleles across the genome. We demonstrate the potential of stochastic chemically-induced hypomethylation to generate novel and valuable variation for crop improvement. Systematic analysis of dose-response to 5-AzaC in B. rapa guided generation of a selfed stochastically hypomethylated pop...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Transcription, Genetic
DNA Methylation
Brassica rapa
Chromosomes, Plant
Epigenesis, Genetic
Reverse Genetics

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