Chromatin and transcriptome dynamics during sexual plant reproduction

Sexual reproduction in flowering plants involves several cell fate transitions: (i) vegetative-to-reproductive transition of the apical meristem, (ii) reprogramming of floral somatic cells to generate the gametic progenitors (micro/mega-spore mother cells), (iii) differentiation of specialized gametes, (iv) fertilization and development of a totipotent embryo. These transitions occurring in the adult plant illustrate the remarkable plasticity of plant cells, unlike animals’ which are committed early during embryogenesis. My research focuses on transitions and cell fate reprogramming in the transitions (ii-iv) and investigates two critical aspects:
    (1) From the diploid gamete progenitor to the differentiated gametes the plant chromatin seem to undergo dramatic and dynamic changes not only in histone/DNA modifications but also in structural organisation (fig1) and in core nucleosome constituent, as seen in chromatin staining and GFP reporter studies.  We are investigating these key processes underlying fate reprogramming. 
    (2) fertilization unites two parental genomes to form a totipotent embryo; yet parental alleles do not contribute in an equal way to the embryonic transcriptome which remains massively maternally dominant, as seen in allele-specific profiling experiments (fig 2).


Recent Publications

  • Meeting report - INDEPTH kick-off meeting
    Parry, G; Probst, AV; Baroux, C; Tatout, C
    JOURNAL OF CELL SCIENCE, 131 (12):10.1242/jcs.220558 JUN 2018
  • Aberrant imprinting may underlie evolution of parthenogenesis
    Kirioukhova, O; Shah, JN; Larsen, DS; Tayyab, M; Mueller, NE; Govind, G; Baroux, C; Federer, M; Gheyselinck, J; Barrell, PJ; Ma, H; Sprunck, S; Huettel, B; Wallace, H; Grossniklaus, U; Johnston, AJ
  • PHO1 Exports Phosphate from the Chalazal Seed Coat to the Embryo in Developing Arabidopsis Seeds 
    Vogiatzaki, Evangelia; Baroux, Celia; Jung, Ji-Yul; et al. 
    CURRENT BIOLOGY, 27 (19): 10.1016/j.cub.2017.08.026  OCT 9 2017
  • Phylogeny-Based Systematization of Arabidopsis Proteins with Histone H1 Globular Domain 
    Kotlinski, Maciej; Knizewski, Lukasz; Muszewska, Anna; et al. 
    PLANT PHYSIOLOGY, 174 (1): 27-34, 10.1104/pp.16.00214 MAY 2017
  • Unreeling the chromatin thread: a genomic perspective on organization around the periphery of the Arabidopsis nucleus 
    Barneche, Fredy; Baroux, Celia 
    GENOME BIOLOGY, 18, 10.1186/s13059-017-1239-6  MAY 23 2017
  • Non-random chromosome arrangement in triploid endosperm nuclei 
    Baroux, Celia; Pecinka, Ales; Fuchs, Joerg; et al. 
    CHROMOSOMA, 126 (1): 115-124, 10.1007/s00412-016-0578-5   FEB 2017 
  • The Maternal-to-Zygotic Transition in Flowering Plants: Evidence, Mechanisms, and Plasticity 
    Baroux, Celia; Grossniklaus, Ueli 
    MATERNAL-TO-ZYGOTIC TRANSITION, 113: 351-371 2015 Review; Book Chapter (Details)
Celia Baroux Uni Zurich portrait

Dr. Célia Baroux
University of Zurich
Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
8008 Zurich

Tel: +41 (0)44 634 82 50

Research topics

  • Chromatin dynamics during female gametogenesis reprogramming
  • Dynamic parental contributions to the early embryonic transcriptome