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International Journal of Genomics
Volume 2014, Article ID 187146, 10 pages
Review Article

Epigenetic Dynamics: Role of Epimarks and Underlying Machinery in Plants Exposed to Abiotic Stress

1Plant Genomics Laboratory, School of Biotechnology, University of Jammu, Jammu 180006, India
2School of Biotechnology, University of Jammu, Jammu 180006, India

Received 16 May 2014; Revised 28 July 2014; Accepted 7 August 2014; Published 18 September 2014

Academic Editor: Henry Heng

Copyright © 2014 Manoj Kumar Dhar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Abiotic stress induces several changes in plants at physiological and molecular level. Plants have evolved regulatory mechanisms guided towards establishment of stress tolerance in which epigenetic modifications play a pivotal role. We provide examples of gene expression changes that are brought about by conversion of active chromatin to silent heterochromatin and vice versa. Methylation of CG sites and specific modification of histone tail determine whether a particular locus is transcriptionally active or silent. We present a lucid review of epigenetic machinery and epigenetic alterations involving DNA methylation, histone tail modifications, chromatin remodeling, and RNA directed epigenetic changes.