Plants being organisms that lack locomotion and vocabulary, they are not privileged to escape and communicate during unfavourable conditions of biotic/abiotic stresses, like their animal counterparts. Therefore, plants have evolved with higher adaptive skills that tune them during unfavourable conditions. In this context, regulation of gene expression plays a crucial role in controlling the cellular pathways required for survival during unfavourable conditions. This chapter is about the epigenetic regulation of plant defence during biotic stress. Researchers have taken various approaches to understand the epigenetic regulation of plant defences and these approaches are described here. Epigenetic regulation also has the potential to be inherited and this phenomenon has aided plants for better adaption. Such reports on transgenerational memory during biotic stress in plants are also compiled. A deeper understanding of epigenetic regulation of defence pathways during biotic stress, and identification of epigenetic marks on the genomes, can aid the development of crop improvement strategies. With the recent advancement in epigenome editing, it should become possible to develop epigenetically improvised plants, devoid of genetic modification.
Part of the book: Plant Defense Mechanisms