Increasing crop production at a time of rapid climate change represents the greatest challenge facing contemporary agricultural research. Our understanding of the genetic control of yield derives from controlled field experiments designed to minimize environmental variance. In spite of these efforts there is substantial residual variability among plants attributable to Genotype x Environment interactions. Recent advances in the field of epigenetics have revealed a plethora of gene control mechanisms that could account for much of this unassigned variation. These systems act as a regulatory interface between the perception of the environment and associated alterations in gene expression. Direct intervention of epigenetic control systems hold the enticing promise of creating new sources of variability that could enhance crop performance. Equally, understanding the relationship between various epigenetic states and responses of the crop to specific aspects of the growing environment (epigenetic fingerprinting) could allow for a more tailored approach to plant agronomy. In this review, we explore the many ways in which epigenetic interventions and epigenetic fingerprinting can be deployed for the improvement of crop production and quality.
|Journal||Frontiers in Plant Science|
|State||Published - Jun 5 2015|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015 Rodráguez López and Wilkinson.
- Crop biotechnology
- Crop improvement
- Crop plants
- Crop protection
- Crop quality
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science