Dr Xiaoqi Feng

Project Leader
Cell and Developmental Biology

Germ cells are “immortal” as they can be indefinitely transmitted through generations. A key regulator of their immortality is the genome-wide reprogramming of the chromatin state beyond the genetic (called ‘epigenetic’) code.

Understanding this reprogramming is a crucial aspect of germline biology. Conversely, germlines are also essential for understanding epigenetics because they mediate inheritance and uniquely undergo large-scale epigenetic changes.

Compared to animals, plant germlines differentiate much later and undergo distinct epigenetic changes despite highly conserved epigenetic pathways.

These differences make plant germlines invaluable for revealing the core principles of epigenetics and sexual reproduction. Plant germlines are also of enormous practical significance because they produce the seeds that comprise most of our staple food.

Xiaoqi’s research aims to answer 3 interconnected questions regarding to plant germline epigenetics:

1) How do chromatin landscapes change during germline development and what are the underlying mechanisms?

2) What are the biological functions of these epigenetic changes?

3) How are environment-induced epigenetic memories transmitted and/or erased in germlines?

Through addressing these questions, she hopes to provide deep insights into epigenetic mechanisms and germline functions, and reveal how chromatin is developmentally regulated and in turn directs development.

Contact

Tel: 01603 450684
xiaoqi.feng@jic.ac.uk

Researcher lands major European grant for ambitious project

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Breakthrough study reveals new insight into “immortal” plant cells

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Five new Project Leaders join the John Innes Centre

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Selected Publications

Walker J., Gao H., Zhang J., Aldridge B., Vickers M., Higgins J., Feng X. (2018)

Sexual-lineage-specific DNA methylation regulates meiosis in Arabidopsis.

Nature Genetics 50 p130-137

Publisher’s version: 10.1038/s41588-017-0008-5

Feng X., Zilberman D., Dickinson H. (2013)

A conversation across generations: soma-germ cell crosstalk in plants.

Developmental Cell 24 (3) p215-25

Publisher’s version: 10.1016/j.devcel.2013.01.014

Ibarra C. A., Feng X., Schoft V. K., Hsieh T. F., Uzawa R., Rodrigues J. A., Zemach A., Chumak N., Machlicova A., Nishimura T., Rojas D., Fischer R. L., Tamaru H., Zilberman D. (2012)

Active DNA demethylation in plant companion cells reinforces transposon methylation in gametes.

Science 337 p1360-4

Publisher’s version: 10.1126/science.1224839

Recent Publications

Hsieh P. H., He S., Buttress T., Gao H., Couchman M., Fischer R. L., Zilberman D., Feng X. (2016)

Arabidopsis male sexual lineage exhibits more robust maintenance of CG methylation than somatic tissues.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113 p15132-15137

Publisher’s version: 10.1073/pnas.1619074114

Park K., Kim M. Y., Vickers M., Park J. S., Hyun Y., Okamoto T., Zilberman D., Fischer R. L., Feng X., Choi Y., Scholten S. (2016)

DNA demethylation is initiated in the central cells of Arabidopsis and rice.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113 p15138-15143

Publisher’s version: 10.1073/pnas.1619047114

Park K., Kim M. Y., Vickers M., Park J. S., Hyun Y., Okamoto T., Zilberman D., Fischer R. L., Feng X., Choi Y., Scholten S. (2016)

DNA demethylation is initiated in the central cells of Arabidopsis and rice.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113 p15138-15143

Publisher’s version: 10.1073/pnas.1619047114

Park K., Kim M. Y., Vickers M., Park J. S., Hyun Y., Okamoto T., Zilberman D., Fischer R. L., Feng X., Choi Y., Scholten S. (2016)

DNA demethylation is initiated in the central cells of Arabidopsis and rice.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113 p15138-15143

Publisher’s version: 10.1073/pnas.1619047114

Johnson K. C., Xia S., Feng X., Li X. (2015)

The Chromatin Remodeler SPLAYED Negatively Regulates SNC1-Mediated Immunity.

Plant Cell Physiology 10.1093 ppcv087

Publisher’s version: 10.1093/pcp/pcv087

View All

Xiaoqi Feng

Awards

BBSRC David Phillips Fellow, 2014-19

Media

For media enquiries, contact the JIC communications team 01603 450962, jic.communications@jic.ac.uk

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