Epigenetics

Project leader: Dr. Etienne Bucher

Project members: Kateryna Fal, Emilja Hristova (PhD students)

Visit the project website: http://www.plantepigenetics.ch

Epigenetics is a fascinating research subject. Epigenetics describes mechanisms by which gene expression patterns can be inherited through cell division (mitosis or meiosis) independently of the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetics provides an additional layer of information superimposed on the genetic code that can be transmitted from mother to daughter cells. This is very important since the DNA is the same in all cells. So how does a cell know which genes to express and which ones not? One explantion for this is epigenetics, because it allows transmission of the information about which genes were “on” and which ones “off” from mother to daughter cells. The main interest in our lab is to find out how this transmission takes place and which proteins are involved in this process. The aim of this project is to uncover the mechanisms involved epigenetic control of gene repression. In order to understand how epigenetics controls gene expression we have created a large collection of mutants. These mutants have defects in the epigenetic control of gene expression and start to show very nice GFP expression patterns (see images).