Dr Myriam Charpentier

Project Leader
Cell and Developmental Biology

Myriam works on nuclear calcium signalling in plants and how these signals are produced in response to environmental and biological stimuli.

Myriam investigates what produces the calcium oscillations which have been identified and how calcium channels control aspects of plant development, using root nodulation in response to nitrogen fixing bacteria as a model for observing nuclear calcium signalling.

  • Nuclear calcium signalling in plants
  • Ion channels and signalling in the process of root nodulation in legumes
  • Evolution of nuclear calcium machinery across the land plants


The group's research aims to understand how plant nuclear calcium signals, elicited by biotic and abiotic stresses, are encoded and decoded to modulate plant growth and performance in diverse environments.

One of the most well-studied plant nuclear calcium responses occurs during the formation of symbiotic associations with nitrogen-fixing bacteria and phosphate-delivering arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Using root legume symbioses as a model system, Myriam discovered a number of ion channels located at the nuclear envelope that are responsible for nuclear calcium release and required for functional root legume symbioses. These channels, which belong to the cyclic nucleotide gated channel family, are the first nuclear-associated calcium channels to be discovered in plants. Within the Plant Health ISP, their research is furthering our understanding of plant symbiotic interactions by dissecting the molecular encoding mechanism of the symbiotic factor induced nuclear calcium signaling generated by the nuclear calcium channels. 

This nuclear calcium machinery is conserved across all land plants, including non-symbiotic species. Using model systems, the lab is exploring how this nuclear calcium machinery has evolved and functions across land plants. 

Ultimately this knowledge will help rational modification of agronomically important plant species to improve their performance.

Recent Publications

Charpentier M. (2018)

Calcium Signals in the Plant Nucleus: Origin and Function.

Journal of Experimental Botany

Publisher’s version: 10.1093/jxb/ery160

Kelner A., Leitão N., Chabaud M., Charpentier M., de Carvalho-Niebel F. (2018)

Dual Color Sensors for Simultaneous Analysis of Calcium Signal Dynamics in the Nuclear and Cytoplasmic Compartments of Plant Cells.

Frontiers in plant science 9 p245

Publisher’s version: 10.3389/fpls.2018.00245

Thorpe S. D., Charpentier M. (2016)

Highlight on the dynamic organisation of the nucleus.

Nucleus (Austin, Tex.) 1 p1-9

Publisher’s version: 10.1080/19491034.2016.1243634

Thorpe S. D., Charpentier M. (2016)

Highlight on the dynamic organisation of the nucleus.

Nucleus (Austin, Tex.) Nucleus phttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19491034.2016.1243634

Publisher’s version: 10.1080/19491034.2016.1243634

Charpentier M., Sun J., Martins T. V., Radhakrishnan G. V., Findlay K., Soumpourou E., Thouin J., Véry A. A., Sanders D., Morris R. J., Oldroyd G. E. (2016)

Nuclear-localized cyclic nucleotide-gated channels mediate symbiotic calcium oscillations.

Science 352 p1102-5

Publisher’s version: 10.1126/science.aae0109

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