Epigenetic variation contributes to environmental adaptation of Arabidopsis thaliana

R. Kooke, J.J.B. Keurentjes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Epigenetic variation is frequently observed in plants and direct relationships between differences in DNA methylation and phenotypic responses to changing environments have often been described. The identification of contributing genetic loci, however, was until recently hampered by the lack of suitable genome wide mapping resources that specifically segregate for epigenetic marks. The development of epi-RIL populations in the model species Arabidopsis thaliana has alleviated this obstacle, enabling the accurate genetic analysis of epigenetic variation. Comprehensive morphological phenotyping of a ddm1 derived epi-RIL population in different environments and subsequent epi-QTL mapping revealed a high number of epi-QTLs and pleiotropic effects of several DMRs on numerous traits. For a number of these epi-QTLs epistatic interactions could be observed, further adding to the complexity of epigenetic regulation. Moreover, linkage to epigenetic marks indicated a specific role for DNA-methylation variation, rather than TE transposition, in plastic responses to changing environments. These findings provide supportive evidence for a role of epigenetic regulation in evolutionary and adaptive processes
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1057368
JournalPlant Signaling & Behavior
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Adaptation
  • Arabidopsis
  • Dnamethylation
  • Epigenetic regulation
  • Morphology
  • Phenotypic plasticity
  • Pleiotropy


Dive into the research topics of 'Epigenetic variation contributes to environmental adaptation of Arabidopsis thaliana'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this