Plant Epigenetics: Basic Research and Expectations for Crop Applications
- Pp. 431-453 (23)Amr R.A. Kataya
Genetics is the science of studying genes that are organized and compacted into nucleosomes and chromatin. Several cases, involving the incorporation of important genes or knocking out others, have been used over the last decades in crop and food applications. Because genetically modified crops are banned and/or ethically under debate, epigenetics that studies gene regulation is thought to have an impact on crop production in future applications. Epigenetics refers to the study of heritable changes in gene expressions without changes in the gene sequence. Epigenetics regulation of gene expression is applied by histone modifications, DNA methylation, histone variants, chromatin remodeling, and small RNAs. This chapter describes what becomes known in plant epigenetics, and future expectations that can employ epigenetics in order to improve crops and produce higher levels of vitamins and proteins that are important for food production and human health.