Regulation of gene expression in plants

One fascinating aspect of biology is the diversity of appearance and function of different cell types, tissues, and organisms. Although every cell in a multicellular organism contains the same genetic information, the organism expresses this information in different patterns, producing the wide range of functions seen in different tissues and cell types.

Regulation of gene expression can occur at any of many different stages and is critical for the normal growth and development of all organisms. Gene regulation can depend on factors encoded in the DNA sequence itself ("genetic" factors) or on regulatory mechanisms related to heritable changes in chromatin structure, DNA methylation, or modifications to DNA-associated histones ("epigenetic" factors).

The McGinnis Lab studies gene regulation in plants, using maize as the predominant model system. We are particularly interested in epigenetic regulation of endogenous genes and transgenes. To learn more, follow the links at the left side of this page or e-mail Dr. McGinnis.