Plant responses to abiotic stress: the chromatin context of transcriptional regulation

Asensi-Fabado, M. A., Amtmann, A. and Perrella, G. (2017) Plant responses to abiotic stress: the chromatin context of transcriptional regulation. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta: Gene Regulatory Mechanisms, 1860(1), pp. 106-122. (doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2016.07.015) (PMID:27487458)

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The ability of plants to cope with abiotic environmental stresses such as drought, salinity, heat, cold or flooding relies on flexible mechanisms for re-programming gene expression. Over recent years it has become apparent that transcriptional regulation needs to be understood within its structural context. Chromatin, the assembly of DNA with histone proteins, generates a local higher-order structure that impacts on the accessibility and effectiveness of the transcriptional machinery, as well as providing a hub for multiple protein interactions. Several studies have shown that chromatin features such as histone variants and post-translational histone modifications are altered by environmental stress, and they could therefore be primary stress targets that initiate transcriptional stress responses. Alternatively, they could act downstream of stress-induced transcription factors as an integral part of transcriptional activity. A few experimental studies have addressed this ‘chicken-and-egg’ problem in plants and other systems, but to date the causal relationship between dynamic chromatin changes and transcriptional responses under stress is still unclear. In this review we have collated the existing information on concurrent epigenetic and transcriptional responses of plants to abiotic stress, and we have assessed the evidence using a simple theoretical framework of causality scenarios.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Amtmann, Professor Anna and Perrella, Dr Giorgio and Asensi-Fabado, Ms Maria Amparo
Authors: Asensi-Fabado, M. A., Amtmann, A., and Perrella, G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology
Journal Name:Biochimica et Biophysica Acta: Gene Regulatory Mechanisms
ISSN (Online):1876-4320
Published Online:31 July 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta: Gene Regulatory Mechanisms 1860(1): 106-122
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
607531Molecular function and crop improvement potential of Histone Deacteylation Complex 1Anna AmtmannBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/K008218/1RI MOLECULAR CELL & SYSTEMS BIOLOGY
648151EPIPRIMING: Keeping ready for battle: understanding fundamental mechanisms of establishment and maintenance of epigenetic marks underlying abiotic stress memory in plants.Anna AmtmannEuropean Commission (EC)627658RI MOLECULAR CELL & SYSTEMS BIOLOGY