Investigating the methylome of grape and oak under water stress
Global climate changes that includes several environmental constraints including drought, is a major concern that affects plant survival both in agro-systems and forest ecosystems. Indeed plants have evolved a wide range of mechanisms to cope with adverse environmental conditions that often lead to rapid and integrated reprogramming of gene expression patterns. Recent works have evidenced that epigenetic regulations, including DNA methylation, are essential to the responses of plants to environmental constraints, and may contribute to their long term adaptation to adverse conditions. In this context the METDRY project addresses the question of the potential involvement of genomic DNA methylation in the adaptation and responses to drought in woody perennial plants using grape and oak as representatives of cultivated plants and forest ecosystems respectively. It is based on the comparative analysis of methylomes, transcriptomes and small RNA populations in a drought sensitive and drought tolerant species in grapevine and oak and aims at identifying differentially methylated regions (DMRs) and gene expression profiles linked to long term adaptation to drought.