Plants are continuously exposed to various environmental stresses and they respond to them in different ways. Ambient temperature is among the most important environmental cues that directly influence plant growth and yield. Research in recent years has revealed that epigenetic mechanisms play a key role in plants' response to temperature stress. Changes in gene expression evoked by stress signals follow post-translational histone modifications, DNA methylation, histone variant incorporation, and the action of chromatin remodeling factors and Polycomb group proteins. The majority of epigenetic modifications induced by temperature stress are reversible in nature; thus, chromatin returns to its previous state after the stress has passed. Some modifications seem stable, however, due presumably to so-called stress memory. Epigenetic modifications can be inherited through mitosis and meiosis. By dint of epigenetic memory, plants can more efficiently respond to future stressful conditions, thereby increasing their potential for environmental adaptation. Recognition of the epigenetic mechanisms that take part in plants' response to changes of ambient temperature will increase our understanding of adaptations to stress conditions.
A vertical cut at the mid-depth of the 15-ton forging steel ingot has been performed by curtesy of the CELSA – Huta Ostrowiec plant. Some metallographic studies were able to reveal not only the chilled undersized grains under the ingot surface but columnar grains and large equiaxed grains as well. Additionally, the structural zone within which the competition between columnar and equiaxed structure formation was confirmed by metallography study, was also revealed. Therefore, it seemed justified to reproduce some of the observed structural zones by means of numerical calculation of the temperature field. The formation of the chilled grains zone is the result of unconstrained rapid solidification and was not subject of simulation. Contrary to the equiaxed structure formation, the columnar structure or columnar branched structure formation occurs under steep thermal gradient. Thus, the performed simulation is able to separate both discussed structural zones and indicate their localization along the ingot radius as well as their appearance in term of solidification time.