Epigenetics is one of the fastest growing areas of biological sciences.
However, although epigenetic silencing has become a central issue in studies of development and disease, precise knowledge of the molecular mechanisms involved remains rudimentary.
Phillip’s work in Caroline Dean’s lab investigates these regulatory mechanisms in the context of flowering via the vernalisation pathway. Flowering time regulation is of utmost importance for agricultural implications, especially in the rapidly changing climate we face today.
The ability to engineer a locus to be a target of Polycomb silencing is therefore essential if we are to be able to manipulate epigenetic regulation for crop improvement in the future.