Plant epigenetic regulation and inheritance

Group leaders : Wen Hui SHENJean MOLINIER

Research area

In all eukaryotes, including plants, genomic DNA is packaged around octamers of histones, forming the basic structural units of chromatin, the nucleosomes. Chromatin represents the physiological template of genetic information. Epigenetics refer to heritable changes (during mitosis and sometimes meiosis) of genome function that occur without a change in DNA sequence. Well-known epigenetic mechanisms include ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling, nucleosome assembly/disassembly, histone variant incorporation, covalent modifications of histones (e.g. acetylation, methylation and ubiquitylation) and DNA (e.g. methylation). Regulatory factors involved in these epigenetic mechanisms play crucial roles in many aspects of plant growth and development, including flowering time control, seed development, cell fate maintenance and plant responses to environmental factors. Our group is interested in characterization of several genes to reveal their roles in deposition of epigenetic marks, in chromatin remodeling, in genome transcription, and in regulation of plant growth and development.


Genome and epigenome surveillance processes

Project manager: Jean MOLINIER

We aim at deciphering the molecular mechanisms involving DNA damage response of the plant (epi)genome upon genotoxic stress exposure with a particular focus on small RNA mediated processes, DNA/histone methylation and excision DNA repair. This project will extend our knowledge on the complexity of pathways involved in the regulation of genome and epigenome integrity.


Selected publications

  • WU J., YANG Y., WANG J., WANG Y., YIN L., AN Z., DU K., ZHU Y., QI J., SHEN W.H. and DONG A.

    Histone chaperones AtChz1A and AtChz1B are required for H2A.Z deposition and interact with the SWR1 chromatin-remodeling complex in Arabidopsis thaliana

    New Phytologist, 239:189-207, 2023. | DOI : 10.1111/nph.18940DOI logo

  • KANG H., LIU Y., FAN T., MA J., WU D., HEITZ T., SHEN W.H. and ZHU Y.

    Arabidopsis CHROMATIN REMODELING 19 acts as a transcriptional repressor and contributes to plant pathogen resistance

    Plant Cell, 34:1100-1116, 2022. | DOI : 10.1093/plcell/koab318DOI logo


    To be, or not to be, remethylated

    Nature Plants, 6:606-607, 2020. | DOI : 10.1038/s41477-020-0696-1DOI logo

  • DU K., LUO Q., YIN L., WU J., LIU Y., GAN J., DONG A. and SHEN W.H.

    OsChz1 acts as a histone chaperone in modulating chromatin organization and genome function in rice

    Nature Communications, 11(1):5717, 2020. | DOI : 10.1038/s41467-020-19586-zDOI logo


    Photodamage repair pathways contribute to the accurate maintenance of the DNA methylome landscape upon UV exposure

    PLoS Genetics, 15(11):e1008476, 2019. | DOI : 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008476DOI logo