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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Deep inside the epigenetic memories of stressed plants

Gallusci, Philippe; Agius, Dolores R.; Moschou, Panagiotis N.; Dobranszki, Judit; Kaiserli, Eirini; Martinelli, Federico


Recent evidence sheds light on the peculiar type of plant intelligence. Plants have developed complex molecular networks that allow them to remember, choose, and make decisions depending on the stress stimulus, although they lack a nervous system. Being sessile, plants can exploit these networks to optimize their resources cost-effectively and maximize their fitness in response to multiple environmental stresses. Even more interesting is the capability to transmit this experience to the next generation(s) through epigenetic modifications that add to the classical genetic inheritance. In this opinion article, we present concepts and perspectives regarding the capabilities of plants to sense, perceive, remember, re-elaborate, respond, and to some extent transmit to their progeny information to adapt more efficiently to climate change.


adaptation; epigenetics; transgenerational memory; plant intelligence; priming

Published in

Trends in Plant Science
2023, Volume: 28, number: 2, pages: 142-153

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