Cell & Developmental Biology
The Dean lab has focused on the timing of the transition to reproductive development in plants. The acceleration of flowering by prolonged cold is a classic epigenetic process called vernalization. The study of this and parallel genetic pathways has led us into the dissection of conserved chromatin silencing mechanisms involving non-coding RNAs.
Our recent work has focused on a mechanistic understanding of vernalization and on the pathways that determine a requirement for vernalization. These pathways converge on a gene that encodes a floral repressor called FLC. We analyse how these pathways intersect during development, in different environmental conditions, and through evolution. This takes us into the analysis of what regulates reproductive strategy in plants. We use Arabidopsis as a reference to establish the regulatory hierarchy and then translate our findings into other species.
Crevillen P., Sonmez C., Wu Z., Dean C. (2013)
A gene loop containing the floral repressor FLC is disrupted in the early phase of vernalization
EMBO Journal 32 140-8
Rosa S., De Lucia F., Mylne J. S., Zhu D., Ohmido N., Pendle A., Kato N., Shaw P., Dean C. (2013)
Physical clustering of FLC alleles during Polycomb-mediated epigenetic silencing in vernalization.
Genes & Development 27 (17) 1845-50
Song J., Irwin J., Dean C. (2013)
Remembering the prolonged cold of winter.
Current Biology 23 (17) R807-11
Sun Q., Csorba T., Skourti-Stathaki K., Proudfoot N. J., Dean C. (2013)
R-loop stabilization represses antisense transcription at the Arabidopsis FLC locus.
Science 340 (6132) 619-21
Altun C., Dean C. (2012)
Transcription beyond borders has downstream consequences
RNA Biology 9 (2) 1
Coustham V., Li P., Strange A., Lister C., Song J., Dean C. (2012)
Quantitative modulation of polycomb silencing underlies natural variation in vernalization.
Science 337 (6094) 584-587
Ietswaart R., Wu Z., Dean C. (2012)
Flowering time control: another window to the connection between antisense RNA and chromatin.
Trends in Genetics 28 (9) 445-53
Irwin J. A., Lister C., Soumpourou E., Zhang Y., Howell E. C., Teakle G., Dean C. (2012)
Functional alleles of the flowering time regulator FRIGIDA in the Brassica oleracea genome
BMC Plant Biology 12 doi:10.1186/1471-2229-12-21
Liu F., Bakht S., Dean C. (2012)
Cotranscriptional role for Arabidopsis DICER-LIKE 4 in transcription termination
Science 335 (6076) 1621-1623
Song J., Angel A., Howard M., Dean C. (2012)
Vernalization - a cold-induced epigenetic switch.
Journal of Cell Science 125 (Pt 16) 3723-31