Our lab has a general interest in genetic and epigenetic mechanisms governing seed development and plant speciation. Our main interest focuses on the endosperm, the tissue that supports embryo growth and is functionally analogous to the placenta in mammals. We decipher the role of the endosperm in controlling seed growth, regulating embryo development, as well as establishing barriers towards interspecies and interploidy hybridizations. Our main model is Arabidopsis thaliana, but we work as well on close relatives like Capsella, Arabidopsis lyrata, and Arabidopsis arenosa. While our main focus is on basic research questions, we also strive to translate our research into practical applications.
Our major lines of research:
- Role of small RNAs in reproductive development
- Epigenetic mechanisms determining irreversible cell fate decisions
- Regulation and function of imprinted genes
- Underlying basis of interploidy and interspecies hybridization barriers
- Mechanisms of unreduced gamete formation in plants