25. Feb. 2019
We would like to invite you to contribute to this Special Issue of IJMS on “Chromatin, Epigenetics and Plant Physiology”. This SI will focus on current progress in understanding the role of chromatin structure and its modifications. The interest in this topic follows from the fact that eukaryotic genomes are packed into the supramolecular nucleoprotein structure of chromatin. Therefore, our understanding of processes such as DNA replication and repair, transcription or cell differentiation requires understanding the structure and function of chromatin, and its specific domains like centromeres, telomeres or rDNA loci.
While the nucleotide sequence of the DNA component of chromatin constitutes the genetic material of the cell, the other chromatin components (and also modifications of bases in the DNA itself) participate in so-called epigenetic processes. These processes are essential, e.g., in cell differentiation and ontogenesis, or adaptation to changes in the environment. Therefore, epigenetics is particularly important (and elaborated) in plants that show a high developmental plasticity and, as sessile organisms, display an enormous capacity to cope with environmental stress. In these processes, epigenetic mechanisms show crosstalk with plant signalling pathways mediated by phytohormones. Current advances in methodological tools has made it possible to investigate chromatin structure starting from its basic level, the nucleosome, up to the higher-order structures (chromatin fibres, topologically associated domains, chromosome territories), and their dynamics associated with the differentiation and physiological status of cells. Thus, we aim to offer representative examples of research progress in this broad research field in this IJMS Special Issue, and invite original, methodology and review contributions on this hot topic in plant sciences.