Epigenetic modifications contribute to phenotypic variation at multiple levels, from gene regulation, to development, stress response, and population-level phenotypic diversity and evolution. As sessile organisms, plants are particularly dependent on epigenetic mechanisms to express diverse phenotypic responses from the same genome sequence. Technological advances that allow genome-wide analysis of DNA or histone modifications coupled with new opportunities for editing the epigenome have the potential to reveal the functions of epigenetic regulation in plants. Here, Genome Biology highlights advances in our understanding of the functions of epigenetic modifications, and the application of this knowledge.
Articles in this collection will be published throughout May and June.