Farmers face challenges in growing crops: climate change, pests, droughts, and diseases. Many of the crops they grow, however, already have the genes that are vital for the plant’s response to these challenges. However, many of these genes are too active or aren’t active enough to overcome these stressors. Scientists studying plant epigenetics see this as an avenue to help improve crops by modulating the activity of these genes. So these ‘epigenetically modified organisms’ (EMOs) could be made, for example, drought resistant by tweaking the activity of genes involved in water retention. Others believe modifying epigenetics could make a plant more nutritious by increasing the activity of genes that produce a vitamin or nutrient in the plant. But this doesn’t mean EMOs will be replacing GMOs or traditional breeding on the farm anytime soon. Scientists must first determine how permanent and heritable epigenetic modifications are in plants–which is very different than investigating epigenetics in animals.