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"Plant Epigenetics" Workshop

Location Kandersteg, Switzerland
Date 13 - 14 May 2013
Calendar file .vcs  .ics

In the last few years, research in the field of epigenetics has gained strong scientific momentum in all disciplines of biology. Epigenetics, that studies covalent modifications of DNA and chromatin, is very interesting for many reasons, one of which being the transmission of information from cell to cell or from parents to siblings, independently of the DNA sequence. In other words, gene expression states (which genes were “on” or “off”) can be transmitted from one cell to its progeny. Epigenetics has important implications in many different fields of research such as basic regulation of gene expression, plant resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, genome evolution, ecological adaptation and plant breeding.

The aim of this workshop was to introduce researchers who are non-specialists in the field of epigenetics into this novel research area. The workshop gave an overview of epigenetics, detailed the methods used and the mechanisms implicated, and presented information about how epigenetics could be used in plant breeding programs, as well as in plant protection against viruses. The workshop was built in five sessions: a) General overview of Epigenetics b) Epigenetics and breeding c) Epigenetics molecular mechanisms I, d) Epigenetics molecular mechanisms II and d) Epigenetics and plant viruses. Several worldwide known researchers were invited to present their leading edge research.

The relatively small size of the participating group at this workshop allowed informal scientific exchanges between researchers in the field and was a good starting point for people who want to start working on plant epigenetics.

The aims and objectives of the workshop were:

  • Introduce members of the COST Action FA0806 into the field of epigenetics.
  • To establish ties among members of the COST Action and other researchers in the field of epigenetics in order to contribute to the Plant Epigenetics community in Europe.
  • Introduce the latest research data on plant Epigenetics.

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