Figuring out a molecular thermometer in plants

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Graduate Office


The project will exploit our extensive understanding of the regulation of a gene (FLC) that encodes a brake to flowering. This gene ensures plants need to overwinter before transitioning to reproductive development. Cold switches off and epigenetically silences FLC expression. We have shown that cold-induced antisense transcripts from FLC (which we named COOLAIR) are an important part of the epigenetic silencing mechanism. An RNA-DNA hybrid (an R-loop), limiting COOLAIR transcription, has been identified in the COOLAIR promoter. The project will investigate regulators of R-loop function with the goal of defining a molecular thermosensor. Understanding from this project is likely to be widely relevant to epigenetic regulation and environmental sensing across a wide range of organisms.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011216/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1776935 Studentship BB/M011216/1 01/10/2016 31/12/2018 Jade Doughty