Common Research Facilities
  • Laboratory of Embryonic and Genetic Engineering
  • Laboratory for Research Support

Medical Institute of Bioregulation Kyushu University
3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8582, JAPAN

The 802nd MIB Seminar (Joint Usage/Research Center for the Multi-stratified Host Defense System)

[Seminar in English]


Convergent evolution of genomic imprinting in plants and mammals


Prof. Ueli Grossniklaus
Department of Plant & Microbial Biology, University of Zurich, Switzerland


Dec. 9 (Mon), 2019


Lecture Room 102, 1F, Biomedical Research Station, Hospital Campus
No.33 on the following linked map.


Research in our laboratory centers on the developmental genetics of plant reproduction. The characterization of mutants has revealed an extensive epigenetic regulatory network mediating maternal control over seed development. MEDEA (MEA) is involved in the epigenetic control of gene expression at two levels: First, the MEA gene is regulated by genomic imprinting, i.e. only the maternally inherited allele is transcribed after fertilization. Second, MEA encodes a plant homolog of Drosophila histone-methyl-transferase Enhancer of zeste [E(z)]. MEA is a subunit of one of the plant versions of animal Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2), which controls cell proliferation and imprinted gene expression, suggesting that PRC2 complexes have been recruited to regulate similar processes in animals and plants. In order to get a better understanding of epigenetic regulation in plants, we are genetically dissecting the function and regulation of MEA. I will report on our efforts to identify cis-regulatory regions and trans-acting factors involved in the regulation of genomic imprinting at the MEA locus and show that a complex regulatory cascade involving diverse epigenetic mechanisms controls early development.


  1. Pires ND, Grossniklaus U.
    Different yet similar: evolution of imprinting in flowering plants and mammals.
    F1000Prime Rep. 2014 Aug 1;6:63.


Division of Epigenomics and Development, Medical Institute of Bioregulation
Hiroyuki SASAKI, Motoko UNOKI
TEL: 092 (642) 6761

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