Title: Epigenetic mechanisms controlling plant developmental transitions
As sessile organisms, plants need to align their development to specific external cues from the different seasons. To be capable of inferring seasonal information, plants have evolved systems to sense environmental signals, and also to ‘remember’ previous exposure to these signals. Epigenetic regulation is subject to environmental influence and can store information over time. In this context, Polycomb Repressive Complexes (PRC1 and PRC2) define chromatin repressive states, ensuring the correct execution of the plant developmental program. In Arabidopsis thaliana, phase transitions such as germination and flowering rely on PRC2-dependent epigenetic silencing of key developmental genes. The site-specific recruitment of PRC2 to its targets depends on the VAL subfamily of B3 transcription factors. Our lab aims at further revealing the mechanistic aspects of VAL regulation in triggering epigenetic silencing of key developmental genes.