In meiosis, genomic content is remixed by meiotic recombination, and also halved (e.g. from diploid/ 2n – to haploid/ 1n). Resulting gametes thus have unique genomes, and this is an important basis for phenotypic variability and thus natural evolution as well as artificial selection, i.e. breeding. This makes understanding and manipulating meiosis a great way for investing in our future, to help sustain food supply in an ever-growing and changing world.
Results and incentives:
I employ a special technique to isolate meiocytes (cells undergoing meiosis) from maize, which I then used in sequencing approaches to tackle their transcriptome and chromatin features (more specifically: mRNAs, small RNAs, DNA methylation, H3K4me3 histone modification). My two most notable findings:
- Abundance of specific mitochondrial transcripts with/in spite of their polyadenylation (polyA on mitochondrial transcripts is generally transient and targeting for degradation, in contrast to polyA on nuclear transcripts where this constitutes a stabilization event).
- A hypothetical role of enigmatic small RNAs abundant in meiosis of grasses (phasiRNAs) in chromatin dynamics.
Due to my discoveries and working with different topics, I am in the fortunate situation to be very versatile on my main focus and techniques – allowing me to be a fit for many different job positions and proposal calls, but also to have backup plans to ascertain success. To address the topics below, I am pairing cell biology with molecular biology, including sequencing approaches and bioinformatics.
My research directions:
- Chromatin dynamics during meiosis
- Role of mitochondria in meiosis
- Dynamics of mitochondria in meiosis
- Polyadenylation of mitochondrial transcripts
- Alteration of meiotic recombination by heat
- Application of altering meiotic recombination patterns
- Structural maintenance of chromosomes
- Plant UV-B perception and response