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Vincent Colot

Genome dynamics and epigenetic variation (GDEV)

To unravel chromatin-based epigenetic processes, especially in relation to the control of transposable element (TE) activity and the generation of heritable phenotypic variation.


Chromatin is the natural substrate on which all DNA transactions take place. As such, it is a highly dynamic structure with the ability to modulate genomic functions and the creation of phenotypic variation. Therefore, how distinct chromatin states are established, maintained -sometimes across multiple generations-, and erased remains a fundamental question in biology.

Research areas

Our group studies the contribution of chromatin-based epigenetic processes to heritable phenotypic variation. Given the involvement of TEs in the creation of so-called epimutable alleles in plants and mammals, most our work is focused on the study of TE sequences, their distribution within genomes, the factors that control their activity, and their impact on adjacent genes. We use Arabidopsis and more recently tomato also as primary models. Our main findings concern the dynamics of DNA methylation over TE sequences during the reproductive cycle, the inheritance patterns and phenotypic impact of TE-mediated DNA methylation variants, and the control, extent, as well as (epi)mutational impact of TE mobilization.

Baduel P, Quadrana L, Hunter B, Bomblies K, Colot V. (2019) Relaxed purifying selection in autopolyploids drives transposable element over-accumulation which provides variants for local adaptation. Nat Commun

Quadrana L, Etcheverry M, Gilly A, Caillieux E, Madoui MA, Guy J, Bortolini Silveira A, Engelen S, Baillet V, Wincker P, Aury JM, Colot V. (2019) Transposition favors the generation of large effect mutations that may facilitate rapid adaption. Nat Commun

Bouyer D, Kramdi A, Kassam M, Heese M, Schnittger A, Roudier F, Colot, V. (2017). DNA methylation dynamics during early plant life. Genome Biol

Quadrana L, Colot V. (2016). Plant Transgenerational Epigenetics. Annu Rev Genet

Quadrana L, Bortolini Silveira A, Mayhew GF, LeBlanc C, Martienssen RA, Jeddeloh JA, Colot, V. (2016). The Arabidopsis thaliana mobilome and its impact at the species level.Elife