Control of transcription and chromatin Structure during Plant Development

Figure 1. Schematic representation of a gene controlled by multiple factors. Several DNA-binding transcription factors and their co-factors (diverse shapes of green) participate in recruiting the pre-initiation complex (orange) to the transcription start site. Chromatin acts as a general transcription barrier, which needs to be temporarily removed by chromatin remodeling complexes (brown) that open the chromatin. Chromatin remodeling complexes are recruited by transcription factors, which in turn may require prior chromatin remodeling to reach their target sites. Protein complexes that reinforce the chromatin barrier (blue and red) to transcription are embedded in transcriptional regulatory networks. One possible role of repressive chromatin is to block access to hidden transcription factor binding sites. A second role can be the participation in setting up a molecular memory.

We are interested in the regulation of gene expression by the interplay of sequence-specific transcription factors and protein complexes that affect chromatin structure. Genes that play an important role in the timing of flowering provide ideal models to study gene regulation in detail since alteration in their expression causes developmental abnormalities that are relatively easy to score. Key flowering genes are usually controlled by several pathways that converge at the level of expression regulation. In plants, induced mutagenesis is a powerful tool to study the influence of single pathway components by observing the effect of mutations on target gene expression.

Learn more about our research:

Project 1: The complex Regulation of FLOWERING LOCUS T

Project 2: The role of Polycomb Group Proteins in Plant Development

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