Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) is ideally suited for studies of natural phenotypic variation. This species has also provided an unparalleled experimental system to explore the mechanistic link between genetic and epigenetic variation, especially with regard to cytosine methylation. Using high-throughput sequencing methods, genotype to epigenotype to phenotype observations can now be extended to plant populations. We review the evidence for induced and spontaneous epigenetic variants that have been identified in Arabidopsis in the laboratory and discuss how these experimental observations could explain existing variation in the wild.
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