Epigenetic Influences on Plant Responses to the Environment [University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh]
Plants and animals may respond to changes in the environment at the molecular level by changing the amount of a gene product (a protein) to generate the appropriate behavior or physical structure (a phenotype) for that environment. For example, an extremely stressful environment can cause plants to reproduce immediately rather than waiting for conditions to improve. The molecular mechanisms for changing phenotype with environment (phenotypic plasticity) are not clear, however previous studies have shown plasticity may be the result of failing to change expression to maintain a phenotype or a deliberate change in expression altering the phenotype. To explore the molecular mechanisms underlying phenotypic plasticity, I am using a minION sequencing apparatus to re-sequence three inbred lines of Arabidopsis thaliana with extreme phenotypic plasticity differences and gene expression differences with the environment. I will specifically explore the role of methylated cytosines and adenines in gene expression.
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