Plant plastic responses to environmental variation, at scales smaller than the individual plant size, promote phenotypic and epigenetic diversity among repeated structures within genotypes. Different epigenetic marks in the somatic line can translate to the germline and seeds, generating a fitness patchwork in the progeny with unexplored effects on plant evolutionary dynamics.
Check the paper in Trends in Plant Science by Mar Sobral and Luis Sampedro
The idea that the individual may not be the sole unit of selection is related to a longstanding debate on the concept of individual and the units and levels of selection (1-6). The recent empirical demonstration of transgenerational implications of subindividual epigenetic variation in plants (7), implies that a plant individual could become a population of phenotypes through transgenerational epigenetic processes -which has profound implications to the evolutionary dynamics of populations and our understanding of the levels of life organization.
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