• DNA methylation;
  • epigenetics;
  • histone modification;
  • plant

Epigenetic research is at the forefront of plant biology and molecular genetics. Studies on higher plants underscore the significant role played by epigenetics in both plant development and stress response. Relatively recent advances in analytical methodology have allowed for a significant expansion of what is known about genome-wide mapping of DNA methylation and histone modifications. In this review, we explore the different modification patterns in plant epigenetics, and the key factors involved in the epigenetic process, in order to illustrate various putative mechanisms. Experimental technology to exploit these modifications, and proposed focus areas for future plant epigenetic research, are also presented.