Research Fellows Directory
Dr Mario Arteaga-Vazquez
University of Cambridge
At the Laboratory of Epigenetics and Developmental Biology (epilab), we are interested in studying the molecular basis, biological role and widespread influence of epigenetics and small RNA-mediated gene regulation in multicellular eukaryotes, from an evolutionary developmental perspective. Work in our lab focuses on paramutation and RNA-directed DNA methylation in plants. Paramutation is the most amazing and extreme example of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. Paramutation is an interaction between alleles (or homologous sequences) that leads to mitotically and meiotically heritable changes in gene expression of one of the alleles. Paramutation was discovered in maize in the 1950's and numerous examples of paramutation and paramutation-like phenomena have emerged over the decades in other plant and animal species including, Lycopersicum esculentum (tomato), Arabidopsis thaliana, Mus musculus (mouse) and Drosophila melanogaster (vinegar fly). During the last couple of decades, we have gained insight into the genetic and molecular basis of paramutation. In plants, paramutation is mediated by components of the RNA-directed DNA methylation pathway, which has been extensively characterized in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Given our interest in Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Evo Devo) of paramutation, we started an exciting journey to study epigenetics and RNA-directed gene regulation in Marchantia polymorpha, a liverwort that represents one of the most basal plant linages. Current efforts on functional genomics in Marchantia polymorpha at the epilab are developed in collaboration with Dr. Jim Haseloff and Dr. David Baulcombe at the University of Cambridge thanks to the support of the Newton Advance Fellowship.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)