[Plants] Special Issue "Epigenetics, Ecology and Evolution in Protists"


Epigenetics (heritable changes, through mitotic or meiotic cell division, in gene expression without modifications of the underlying DNA sequence) has emerged as an important discipline bridging environment, phenotypic plasticity and evolution. Being dynamic and reversible, epigenetic-induced variations allow a greater phenotypic plasticity in response to a changing environment, and may therefore facilitate acclimation and ultimately adaptation upon its action on DNA sequence. Epigenetic mechanisms have been extensively investigated in plant and animal genomes, yielding insightful findings into genome regulation and impacts on cell homeostasis, development, diseases and even evolution, in particular from population epigenomics studies. Despite the growing interest in epigenetics and the development of sequencing technologies, knowledge on these processes remains scarce in species outside animals and plants, in particular microbial eukaryotes such as stramenopiles, rhizaria, alveolates and ciliates. Considering the position of these species in the tree of life, investigating their epigenome will help to understand the evolutionary origins of epigenomic components and mechanisms as well as their role in evolution and speciation.

This Special Issue welcomes original research, review, and methodology papers on the epigenetics of model and non-model organisms from protist lineages using multidisciplinary approaches and/or high-throughput technologies to investigate processes such as cell differentiation, sexual reproduction, development, stress response, acclimation and adaptation to the environment.

Dr. Leila Tirichine
Dr. Susana Coelho
Guest Editors