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The gymnastics of epigenomics in rice

Banerjee, Aditya, Roychoudhury, Aryadeep
Plant cell reports 2018 v.37 no.1 pp. 25-49
bioinformatics, cultivars, databases, environmental factors, epigenetics, flowering, genomics, heterosis, metabolomics, proteomics, reproduction, rice, seeds, staple crops, transcriptomics, transposons
Epigenomics is represented by the high-throughput investigations of genome-wide epigenetic alterations, which ultimately dictate genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic dynamism. Rice has been accepted as the global staple crop. As a result, this model crop deserves significant importance in the rapidly emerging field of plant epigenomics. A large number of recently available data reveal the immense flexibility and potential of variable epigenomic landscapes. Such epigenomic impacts and variability are determined by a number of epigenetic regulators and several crucial inheritable epialleles, respectively. This article highlights the correlation of the epigenomic landscape with growth, flowering, reproduction, non-coding RNA-mediated post-transcriptional regulation, transposon mobility and even heterosis in rice. We have also discussed the drastic epigenetic alterations which are reported in rice plants grown from seeds exposed to the extraterrestrial environment. Such abiotic conditions impose stress on the plants leading to epigenomic modifications in a genotype-specific manner. Some significant bioinformatic databases and in silico approaches have also been explained in this article. These softwares provide important interfaces for comparative epigenomics. The discussion concludes with a unified goal of developing epigenome editing to promote biological hacking of the rice epigenome. Such a cutting-edge technology if properly standardized, can integrate genomics and epigenomics together with the generation of high-yielding trait in several cultivars of rice.