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Vincent Colot

Arabidopsis Epigenetics and Epigenomics

To unravel chromatin-based epigenetic processes and their contribution to heritable phenotypic variation in plants.


Chromatin is the natural substrate on which DNA transactions take place within the nucleus of eukaryotic cells. Chromatin is a highly dynamic structure and how distinct chromatin states are established, maintained and erased to modulate the function of the genome as well as the creation of new DNA sequence variation are fundamental questions in biology.

Research areas

Our group investigates the contribution of chromatin-based epigenetic processes to heritable phenotypic variation, using the reference flowering plant Arabidopsis as well as tomato. Specifically, we are studying the dynamics of DNA methylation during plant life and the inheritance patterns of DNA methylation variants, with the goal of understanding how epimutations arise, what conditions their stability across generations and what is their phenotypic impact. Given that transposable elements (TEs) and other repeat sequences are the primary targets of DNA methylation in plants and are involved in the creation of epimutable alleles of genes, we have also a strong interest in the study of TE mobilization and its control by environmental and genetic factors.

Chica, C., Louis, A., Roest Crollius, H., Colot, V., and Roudier, F. (2017). Comparative epigenomics in the Brassicaceae reveals two evolutionarily conserved modes of PRC2-mediated gene regulation.Genome Biol 18, 207.

Bouyer, D., Kramdi, A., Kassam, M., Heese, M., Schnittger, A., Roudier, F., and Colot, V. (2017). DNA methylation dynamics during early plant life. Genome Biol 18, 179.

Quadrana, L., and Colot, V. (2016). Plant Transgenerational Epigenetics. Annu Rev Genet 50, 467-491.

Quadrana, L., Bortolini Silveira, A., Mayhew, G.F., LeBlanc, C., Martienssen, R.A., Jeddeloh, J.A., and Colot, V. (2016). The Arabidopsis thaliana mobilome and its impact at the species level. Elife 5.

Willing, E. M., V. Rawat, T. Mandakova, F. Maumus, G. V. James, K. J. Nordstrom, C. Becker, N. Warthmann, C. Chica, B. Szarzynska, M. Zytnicki, M. C. Albani, C. Kiefer, S. Bergonzi, L. Castaings, J. L. Mateos, M. C. Berns, N. Bujdoso, T. Piofczyk, L. de Lorenzo, C. Barrero-Sicilia, I. Mateos, M. Piednoel, J. Hagmann, R. Chen-Min-Tao, R. Iglesias-Fernandez, S. C. Schuster, C. Alonso-Blanco, F. Roudier, P. Carbonero, J. Paz-Ares, S. J. Davis, A. Pecinka, H. Quesneville, V. Colot, M. A. Lysak, D. Weigel, G. Coupland & K. Schneeberger (2015) Genome expansion of Arabis alpina linked with retrotransposition and reduced symmetric DNA methylation. Nat Plants, 1, 14023.

Cortijo, S., R. Wardenaar, M. Colome-Tatche, A. Gilly, M. Etcheverry, K. Labadie, E. Caillieux, F. Hospital, J. M. Aury, P. Wincker, F. Roudier, R. C. Jansen, V. Colot & F. Johannes (2014) Mapping the epigenetic basis of complex traits. Science, 343, 1145-8.