Ms Katrien Brown
Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
For my Masters research project I am conducting an exploratory study on the chromatin landscape of the Eucalyptus grandis genome. Chromatin accessibility is known to be associated with protein binding and is often indicative of transcriptionally active genes or active regulatory elements. Furthermore, chromatin profiles are tissue specific which provides a platform from which to identify tissue specific non-genic elements. In order to generate genome wide chromatin accessibility data I will perform a DNase I hypersensitivity assay on different plant tissues including callus, immature xylem, phloem and leaf tissue. The primary aim would be to identify elements within each tissue that may contribute to differentiation during development. The data generated by this study will contribute the understanding of the multi-layer system that is regulatory control. Chromatin accessibility data may also be a valuable tool for future epigenetic, transcriptomic, proteomic and genomic integrative studies. Ultimately, integrative and cross-disciplinary studies may contribute to our current comprehension of the exact causes underlying phenotypic variation at an individual and population level. I believe that a more holistic understanding of woody plants systems may aid in the global effort towards sustainable forestry through biotechnology.