In multicellular organism, cell growth and differentiation are fundamental aspects that need to be spatially and temporally coordinated from embryogenesis to adulthood. The Polycomb group (PcG) proteins, and particularly the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2), are key developmental regulators that are employed by several organisms, including plants, Drosophila, mouse, and human, to modulate transcription through so-called epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation. The most studied role for PRC2 is the deposition og trimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 27 (H3K27me3), which in turn affects gene expression.
In our lab, through the use of genetic, molecular biology and biochemistry techniques, we aim to:
• Identify PRC2 recruiters and characterize their mode of action
• Identify PRC2 non-histonic targets and characterize their function in plant development.
We focus particularly on seed development and embryogenesis, by looking at the spatial and temporal specification, acquisition and maintenance of cell identity, the control of the cell cycle progression, and tissue and organ patterning.