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Parental Genomic Imprinting in Flowering Plants

Epigenetic Regulation and Epigenomics

  1. Frédéric Berger

Published Online: 10 OCT 2011

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.201100005

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Berger, F. 2011. Parental Genomic Imprinting in Flowering Plants. Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL), Singapore, Singapore

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 10 OCT 2011

Abstract

In contrast to most genes, that are expressed equally from both parental alleles, imprinted genes (as identified in flowering plants and mammals) are differentially expressed, depending on their parental origin. In flowering plants, imprinting is regulated by DNA methylation and histone methylation. During vegetative development most imprinted genes are silenced by chromatin modifications. During gametogenesis, however, the male or female allele is activated by the removal of chromatin modifications and remains active after fertilization. The other allele is inherited in a silenced state, leading to an imprinted gene expression. Imprinting mechanisms are conserved across plant species, and to a certain extent there is evidence of a convergent evolution of imprinting mechanisms between plants and mammals. The physiological significance and evolutionary origin of imprinting are still unclear. In flowering plants, imprinting may derive from global epigenetic reprogramming mechanisms that occur in female, but not in male, gametes.

Keywords:

  • Parental genomic imprinting;
  • Egg cell;
  • Central cell;
  • Double fertilization;
  • Endosperm;
  • Gametophytes;
  • Sporophyte;
  • Pollen;
  • Embryo sac;
  • Ovule integuments