Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Biology

Supervisor

Dr. Ali Hannoufa

Abstract

Changes in the epigenetic status of plants, which contribute to changes in gene expression, in response to abiotic stress are well documented. However, their stability and transmission to subsequent generations, and their incorporation into plant stress adaptation are still a matter for debate. Using chromatin immuno-precipitation and Next Generation Sequencing (ChIP-seq), we compared genome wide enrichment of two histone marks, H3K9ac and H3K4me2, in the progeny of salt stressed and control Arabidopsis plants. Data showed less enrichment of the H3K9ac in the chromatin of the progeny of salt stressed plants, but no changes were detected in the enrichment of the H3K4me2. The expression analysis of the genes, with significantly reduced enrichment of the H3K9ac, identified genes with lower expression in the salt stressed progeny. We suggest that histone modifications play a role in establishment of trans-generational stress memory. Moreover, we identified genes that are candidates to be involved in salt stress adaptation.