Epigenetics Vital in Disease Resistance
A team of scientists at Salk Institute discovered that exposure to a pathogenic bacterium caused several alterations in a plant's epigenetic code, a layer of biochemical instructions in DNA that help control gene expression. These changes were due to the activity of genes involved in the plant's response to stress, and thus suggesting that the epigenome is important in developing resistance to biotic and abiotic stesses.
"This means the epigenome may not just be a static set of instructions, but also a way of rewriting those instructions based on experience," says Joseph Ecker, leader of the research team in Salk's Genomic Analysis Laboratory. "Our findings, combined with other researchers' findings, build the case that life experiences leave an imprint on our DNA."
The results of the study are published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Read the media release at http://www.salk.edu/news/pressrelease_details.php?press_id=575.
This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)