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Vincent Colot

Genome dynamics and epigenetic variation (GDEV)


Our group studies the role of transposable elements (TEs) on heritable phenotypic variation, adaptation and evolution. We are particularly interested in understanding the impact of chromatin-based epigenetic processes, notably DNA methylation, on all aspects of TE biology as well as on genome function. We use the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana as our main experimental model and apply advanced molecular genetics as well as genomic and epigenomic approaches to determine the distribution of TEs within and between genomes, the genetic and environmental factors that modulate their mobilization, and the effect of TE insertions on their genic neighborhood.

Research highlights

Our recent findings concern the species-wide impact of transposition and the factors that govern it in A.thaliana (Quadrana et al, 2016, Baduel et al, 2021), the function of DNA demethylation in the control of genes involved in male fertility (Khouider et al 2021), the impact of TEs on the adaptive potential of the polyploid species A. arenosa (Baduel et al, 2019) as well as tomato diversity (Domínguez et al, 2020), and the role of the histone variant H2A.Z in the preferential integration of the most active superfamily of A. thaliana TEs towards environmentally responsive genes and away from essential genes (Quadrana et al, 2019).

Leandro Quadrana, a young researcher in the team, is currently seeking to set up his own lab. He is exploiting large populations of experimental and wild-type plants to determine the genetic and environmental basis of natural transposition. You can find more details about his project here

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

Baduel P, Leduque B, Ignace A, Gy I, Gil J, Loudet O, Colot V, Quadrana L. (2021) Genetic and environmental modulation of transposition shapes the evolutionary potential of Arabidopsis thaliana Genome Biol.

Khouider S, Borges F, LeBlanc C, Ungru A, Schnittger A, Martienssen R, Colot V, Bouyer D (2021) Male fertility in Arabidopsis requires active DNA demethylation of genes that control pollen tube function. Nat Commun

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

Domínguez M, Dugas E, Benchouaia M, Leduque B, Jiménez-Gómez JM, Colot V, Quadrana L. (2020) The impact of transposable elements on tomato diversity. 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