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Epigenome of Oil Palm

The epigenome, also known as the second genetic code refers to modifications to the genome without any sequence change but may result in altered phenotypes. The oil palm industry is aggressively developing superior planting materials through conventional breeding and tissue culture. However, tissue culture is impeded by the occurrence of somaclonal variation, resulting in clonal abnormality. It is now known that somaclonal variation is an epigenetic effect triggered by the tissue culture process. More recently epigenetics have also been linked with various physiological phenomena, including yield and response to biotic/abiotic stress. With this in mind, the oil palm epigenome has been mapped.

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