Chromatin changes in response to drought, salinity, heat, and cold stresses in plants

Front Plant Sci. 2015 Mar 2;6:114. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00114. eCollection 2015.


Chromatin regulation is essential to regulate genes and genome activities. In plants, the alteration of histone modification and DNA methylation are coordinated with changes in the expression of stress-responsive genes to adapt to environmental changes. Several chromatin regulators have been shown to be involved in the regulation of stress-responsive gene networks under abiotic stress conditions. Specific histone modification sites and the histone modifiers that regulate key stress-responsive genes have been identified by genetic and biochemical approaches, revealing the importance of chromatin regulation in plant stress responses. Recent studies have also suggested that histone modification plays an important role in plant stress memory. In this review, we summarize recent progress on the regulation and alteration of histone modification (acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation, and SUMOylation) in response to the abiotic stresses, drought, high-salinity, heat, and cold in plants.

Keywords: DNA methylation; abiotic stress response; epigenetic regulation; histone modification; stress memory.