DNA methylation has a crucial role in regulating gene expression. The chromomethylase (CMT) protein family is a plant-specific DNA methyltransferase that mediates growth and development. You et al. (on pp. 1120–1135) studied the effects of silencing N. benthamiana CMT3/3-2, which caused pleiotropic effects on plant development and autophagy-related processes by interfering with the expression of the autophagy-related gene, NbBeclin 1. Thus a new model of action is proposed for the regulatory function of NbCMT3s in plant growth and development.
The cover image shows that the lignified vessels and fibers were deeply stained blue-green with toluidine blue O in NbCMT3/3-2-silenced stems. Images supplied by Wen-Jing You, Yun-Ru Feng and Shih-Feng Fu (Department of Biology, National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan).