学术活动
研究组
 
           

张蘅
研究员,博士生导师


电话:(86) 21-57078233
Email: zhangheng@sibs.ac.cn

研究方向
表观遗传学
研究工作
1.Transcriptional regulation of noncoding RNAs in the RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) pathway.
RdDM in plants is critical for establishing de novo DNA methylation patterns and maintaining a portion of non-CG methylation in the genome (Matzke and Mosher 2014 Nat Rev Genet; Law and Jacobsen 2010 Nat Rev Genet). Noncoding RNAs generated by RNA Pol IV and Pol V provide the target specificity for DNA methylation. However little is known about how the ncRNAs themselves are regulated. We are interested in identifying factors involved in transcriptional regulation of those ncRNAs and understanding the molecular mechanisms supporting their function. Our previous study revealed that a histone binding protein DTF1/SHH1 was necessary for the recruitment of Pol IV to heterochromatin (Zhang, Ma et al. 2013 PNAS; Law, Du, Hale 2013 Nature). Further studies on DTF proteins and their relationship with other Pol IV/V interacting proteins are being conducted.
2.Genomics of abiotic stress-tolerant plants.
Abiotic stresses cause the largest crop yield loss among compared to other adversarial factors in agriculture. While engineering for yield was successful in many crops, engineering for stress-tolerance is difficult, due to the complex genetic structure underlying stress-tolerant phenotypes and our aim at maintaining the yield in addition to the survival rate after stresses. Some minor crops are already stress-tolerant and are more nutritious than the major cereals. Engineering the yield of those crops is an alternative route to obtain stress-tolerant crops. We are also interested in using those plant species as a model to understand the evolution of stress-tolerant phenotypes and to decipher molecular mechanisms underlying abiotic stress tolerance.