J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2020, Vol. 62 ›› Issue (1): 148-159.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12879

Special Issue: Epigenetics

• Invited Expert Reviews For Plant Research Progress • Previous Articles    

The mechanism and function of active DNA demethylation in plants

Ruie Liu and Zhaobo Lang*   

  1. Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology, and National Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics, Center of Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200032, China

    Email: zblang@sibs.ac.cnc
  • Received:2019-08-09 Accepted:2019-10-16 Online:2019-10-19 Published:2020-01-01


DNA methylation is a conserved and important epigenetic mark in both mammals and plants. DNA methylation can be dynamically established, maintained, and removed through different pathways. In plants, active DNA demethylation is initiated by the RELEASE OF SILENCING 1 (ROS1) family of bifunctional DNA glycosylases/lyases. Accumulating evidence suggests that DNA demethylation is important in many processes in plants. In this review, we summarize recent studies on the enzymes and regulatory factors that have been identified in the DNA demethylation pathway. We also review the functions of active DNA demethylation in plant development as well as biotic and abiotic stress responses. Finally, we highlight those aspects of DNA demethylation that require additional research.

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