Gardening the genome: DNA methylation in Arabidopsis thaliana

Nat Rev Genet. 2005 May;6(5):351-60. doi: 10.1038/nrg1601.


DNA methylation has two essential roles in plants and animals - defending the genome against transposons and regulating gene expression. Recent experiments in Arabidopsis thaliana have begun to address crucial questions about how DNA methylation is established and maintained. One cardinal insight has been the discovery that DNA methylation can be guided by small RNAs produced through RNA-interference pathways. Plants and mammals use a similar suite of DNA methyltransferases to propagate DNA methylation, but plants have also developed a glycosylase-based mechanism for removing DNA methylation, and there are hints that similar processes function in other organisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • DNA Glycosylases / physiology*
  • DNA Methylation*
  • Genome, Plant*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / physiology*


  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • DNA Glycosylases