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Crop Biotech Update

Plants Remember Previous Stress to Help Protect Themselves

June 8, 2016

A new research led by Dr. Jose Gutierrez-Marcos of the University of Warwick has revealed that plants have evolved ways to remember previous exposures to stress, in this case high salinity conditions, which can help subsequent progenies withstand the same stress in the future.

According to the study, this "stress memory" is programmed epigenetically by chemical modifications in the form of cytosine methylation to the DNA at specific locations of the plant genome. The research found that in the absence of stress, this memory is gradually reset especially when transmitted through the male lineage. In addition, the researchers found that stress memory can be fixed by mutation in genes responsible for resetting DNA methylation.

For more details, read the news release at Warwick News & Events.