Recoding Regulation

Creating genetic and epigenetic variation in non-coding regulatory sequences of plant genes.

Project Summary.





Promoters serve a critical role in establishing baseline transcriptional capacity through the recruitment of proteins, including transcription factors.

Previously, a paucity of data for cis-regulatory elements in plants meant that it was challenging to determine which sequence elements in plant promoter sequences contributed to transcriptional function. We identified functional elements and established a quantitative experimental system to investigate transcriptional function, investigating how identity, density and position contribute to regulatory function. We have used this system to identify permissive architectures for minimal synthetic plant promoters, enabling the computational design of a suite of synthetic promoters.

We are currently using genome engineering tools and developing synthetic regulatory elements to engineer complex traits in plants by disrupting and rewiring gene regulatory networks that coordinate the growth of plants in response to changes in their environment. 


Impact statement.

This project is intended to develop new tools and approaches for engineering crops that are resilient to stress.