Epigenetic clocks

We have begun to use DNA methylation data for phylogenetic inference in plants. The goal is to accurately reconstruct and date shallow phylogenies of the recent past, where too few genetic mutations may have accumulated to achieve this. Analogous to work in animal systems, we are also developing DNA methylation-based aging clocks in trees. The goal is to replace invasive age-estimates based on tree ring counts. 

Key paper: 

Yao et al. (2021) Epimutations define a fast-ticking molecular clock in plants. Trends in Genetics [Abstract]