Epigenetic reprogramming in plant sexual reproduction

Tomokazu Kawashima, Frédéric Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

196 Scopus citations


Epigenetic reprogramming consists of global changes in DNA methylation and histone modifications. In mammals, epigenetic reprogramming is primarily associated with sexual reproduction and occurs during both gametogenesis and early embryonic development. Such reprogramming is crucial not only to maintain genomic integrity through silencing transposable elements but also to reset the silenced status of imprinted genes. In plants, observations of stable transgenerational inheritance of epialleles have argued against reprogramming. However, emerging evidence supports that epigenetic reprogramming indeed occurs during sexual reproduction in plants and that it has a major role in maintaining genome integrity and a potential contribution to epiallelic variation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-624
Number of pages12
JournalNature Reviews Genetics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank B. H. Le and R. Feil for critical reading of the manuscript. F.B. and T.K. were supported by Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory. They apologize to colleagues whose publications are not cited owing to space limitations.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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