Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic phenomenon leading to parentally biased gene expression. Throughout the years, extensive efforts have been made to characterize the epigenetic marks underlying imprinting in animals and plants. As a result, DNA methylation asymmetries between parental genomes emerged as the primary factor controlling the imprinting status of many genes. Nevertheless, the data accumulated so far suggest that this process cannot solely explain the imprinting of all genes. In this review, we revisit the current models explaining imprinting regulation in plants, and discuss novel regulatory mechanisms that could function independently of parental DNA methylation asymmetries in the establishment of imprinting.
Keywords: DNA methylation; Polycomb group proteins; genomic imprinting; plants.
© 2020 Batista and Köhler; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.