Plant Science and Natural Products

Transgenes appear to be particularly sensitive to epigenetic variation which can lead to transgene silencing, i.e. the complete or partial inactivation of transgene expression. Plants are ideal model systems to study the influence of changing environmental conditions on epigenetic patterns. We are especially interested to understand how certain genomic regions become targets for epigenetic modification and how environmental stress affects epigenetic gene regulation. Our applied work investigates how transgene silencing can be prevented and how epigenetic variation can be exploited for novel breeding strategies.