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CEMB Future Leaders: “The place of plant chromatin in sensing mechanical stress”
January 19 at 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Launched in May 2021, the Future Leaders in Mechanobiology is a monthly seminar series featuring up-and-coming leaders in mechanobiology–PhD students and postdocs from a wide range of fields, backgrounds, and institutions. By providing an international stage to share one’s work and opportunities to interact with researchers at all career stages, we aim to create an inclusive and valuable series for early-stage researchers and the mechanobiology community as a whole.
Postdoctoral Researcher, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)
Plants have remarkable capacities to react and adapt to changing environmental conditions and
display morphological flexibility. In order to maintain the balance in morphogenesis and developmental
robustness and, simultaneously, assure the responses to internal as well as external stimuli, the expression
of multiple genes should be adjusted in a flexible manner. The dynamic regulation of gene expression is
aided by the epigenetic chromatin modifications. Such modifications also contribute to activation of the
mechanosensitive genes expression thus underlining the existing link between the mechanosensing and
In the growing tissues there are naturally present patterns of forces. Surrounded and connected by
the cell walls, plant cells have to cope with the occurring mechanical stress without resolving to cell
intercalation. For example, the cells in the saddle-shaped organ–meristem boundary domain, formed by the
emergence of a new aerial organ at the shoot apex, get highly compressed. This is accompanied by the
deformation of the nuclei and major chromatin rearrangements within these cells, demonstrating that
mechanical forces have a strong and direct impact on plant chromatin in a tissue context.
I believe, gaining more detailed knowledge of the roles of plant chromatin in reactions to mechanical
stress shall greatly help our understanding of how environmental signals are sensed by the plants and
further integrated into their morphogenesis.