Caister Academic Press

Genetic Resources for the Study of Epigenetic Gene Regulation in Maize

Andre Irsigler and Karen M. McGinnis
from: Epigenetics: A Reference Manual (Edited by: Jeffrey M. Craig and Nicholas C. Wong). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2011)


Maize has served as an excellent model for the study of epigenetic gene regulation for the past several decades. The pioneering work of maize geneticists like Barbara McClintock, Alexander Brink, Marcus Rhoades, and others led to the observation of many fascinating phenomena that were later demonstrated to be epigenetically regulated events. Since these observations were made, a great deal of progress has been made in determining the underlying causes of the phenomena, and many of these examples of epigenetic gene regulation are currently being used to elucidate the mechanisms of epigenetic heritability in plants. Today, these phenomena and the mutants that impact them serve as resources for studying how DNA methylation, chromatin structure, and small RNAs act to influence paramutation, gene silencing, and parent-of-origin dependent dosage compensation. The key attributes and potential contributions of each resource are discussed in the context of understanding the mechanisms and significance of epigenetic gene regulation in large, complex genomes read more ...
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