Plant development and epigenetics

In our lab we are fascinated about the ability of plants to adapt their development to an ever-changing environment throughout their whole life. The information that plants require to modify their development is encoded in the DNA. Every plant cell carries the same genetic information, but each cell type characterises by the expression of a specific set of genes. This differential regulation is responsible for the distinct cellular phenotypes that compose the body of the plant.

The structure of chromatin, formed by the interaction of DNA and histone proteins, and the epigenetic mechanisms that occur on this molecule are essential during the cellular reprogramming that take place along plant development. Using a combination of molecular techniques our aim is to understand how chromatin-related and epigenetic processes operate and how the activity of different processes is coordinated to regulate gene expression.

 

NUI Galway

National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway, www.nuigalway.ie) is a research and top-quality teaching university that attracts over 18,000 students and has a large international community from more than hundred different countries. The university is located in Galway, Ireland’s third largest city regarded as the cultural capital of the country.

NUI Galway is also a hub for research in Western Ireland and hosts diverse research centres focused on different scientific disciplines. Our lab is part of the Plant and Agricultural Biosciences Centre (PABC, www.plantagbiosciences.org), which is an inter-disciplinary research cluster focused in plant research and innovation. As member of the PABC, our lab has a special interest in plant and agricultural biosciences. We would like to understand how plant development is regulated by epigenetic mechanisms and to develop biotechnological tools based on these mechanisms that might be applied for crop improvement.

 

Teaching and Supervision

We contribute to teach within the School of Natural Science and are very excited to announce the new undergraduate degree pathway on Plant and AgriBiosciences (PAB) (click here to download the PAB leaflet). The PAB pathway will be available for UG students from next September and will prepare them for the development of a career in the plant and agribioscences sector. In our lab we are very happy of taking part of this new pathway teaching topics such as plant genetics and plant development. Our lab is also open to students that want to have a hands-on lab experience and to broader their practical knowledge. If you are an enthusiastic student with an interest in plant science and would like to do an internship in our lab, contact us and let us know about your motivations to join our lab.